SKC in talks to sell polyester film business to private equity firm
The price is estimated to be about 1.6 trillion won ($1.3 billion), according to multiple local reports. The chemical company is expected to have a board meeting soon to vote on the issue.
"We are in talks with Hahn & Company for a few options, including the sale of our industry material division that runs the polyester PET business, but details, such as the holding of the board meeting, have not been decided yet," an SKC spokesperson told the Korea JoongAng Daily.
SKC, which is 41 percent owned by SK Inc., first developed polyester PET film in 1977, the first Korean company to do so. In 1980, it was the world's fourth company to develop color videotape, following companies in the United States, Germany, and Japan. It currently produces various types of films, such as optical films, packaging films and industrial films.
The chemical company sold 1.31 trillion won of film last year, 38.5 percent of total sales.
It is expected that the company will use the money to strengthen its battery material business to target the fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) market.
In 2020, SKC acquired 100 percent of KCF Technologies (KCFT), a copper foil producer, for 1.2 trillion won and changed the company name to SK Nexilis.
Copper foil is a core component in the making of anodes, which are used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs. Around 35 kilograms to 40 kilograms of copper foil is required to make an EV.
SK Nexilis was the world's No. 1 copper foil manufacturer, with a 22 percent market share last year, according to SNE Research, followed by China's Wason 19 percent.
Its major customers include LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, SK On, Panasonic and CATL.
The company's current copper foil capacity stands at around 52,000 tons a year. It aims to boost it to 250,000 tons by 2025.
It is currently building plants in Malaysia and Poland and is in the process of selecting sites in the United States for more plants.
SKC shares rose 4.1 percent to 165,500 won Friday.
BY SARAH CHEA [email@example.com]