SK Innovation shareholders approve plan to split off battery business


The decision paves the way for the battery business, a supplier for Ford Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co and among others, to potentially raise funds and go public to finance its high-cost production capacity expansion. (Pic: The logo of SK Innovation is seen in front of its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea)

SEOUL: SK Innovation Co Ltd said on Thursday its shareholders had approved the company's proposal to separate its battery business into a new company.

The decision paves the way for the battery business, a supplier for Ford Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co and among others, to potentially raise funds and go public to finance its high-cost production capacity expansion.

The unit, which will be launched on Oct. 1, will first become SK Innovation's wholly-owned subsidiary tentatively named "SK Battery Co Ltd."

More than 80% of SK Innovation shareholders voted in favour of the plan, SK Innovation said in a statement.

"It's crucial to secure timely financial resources for further quantitative and qualitative expansions in the future," SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun told shareholders.

"With the split-off of the battery business, we plan to evaluate various ways to secure resources, such as establishing joint ventures, partnerships and attracting strategic and financial investors."

The South Korean battery maker said it had more than 1 terawatt hours (TWh) worth of batteries, which could power about 14 million electric vehicles.

South Korea's National Pension Service, SK Innovation's No.2 shareholder with an 8.05% stake, on Tuesday voted against the split-off plan, citing concerns about damage to shareholder value.

Shares of SK Innovation were trading down 2.4% versus a 0.5% fall in the benchmark KOSPI as of 0140 GMT.- Reuters

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