Wonik Holdings will acquire battery equipment maker PNE Solution, the company said.
It announced that it was acquiring around 5.2 million shares of PNE by December 18.
Wonik will buy the 35.13% stake owned by Jeong Dae-taek, the largest single share holder of PNE, for 100 billion won.
PNE Solution was founded in 2004. It listed on KOSDAQ in 2011. The company’s mainstay is formation and cycler equipment. Formation kit are used to charge and discharge the battery to make it active.
Cycler are used to test the characteristics and life spans of battery cells and modules during research and development.
PNE supplies its kits to LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation. The company saw sales of 44.2 billion won in 2015 but this jumped to 102.8 billion won in 2018. It is expecting sales of up to 200 billion won this year. The growth is thanks to high demand for batteries from electric vehicles.
With the acquisition, Wonik will secure a foundation to expand in the battery equipment industry. PNE Solution is the largest company in purely battery equipment out of all the KOSDAQ-listed firms.
Wonik will be able to compete equally with SFA, APS Holdings and Philoptics __ companies that have started off as semiconductor and display equipment makers who are expanding into batteries.
However, the formation equipment market, which accounts for over 80% of PNE’s sales, is seeing its entry barrier lowered. PNE Solution was producing its formation equipment and cycler via its Chinese joint venture founded in 2017. It is also facing the rise of hybrid equipment from other battery equipment makers.
LG Chem is receiving equipment that combines degassing and baking into one formation equipment from EcoPro and other new companies. This is to save cost and time.
PNE Solution will also offer no synergy with Wonik’s existing portfolio, which are focused on deposition and etching.
However, PNE’s kids can be offered with automation equipment, a person familiar with the matter said.
Wonik saw its share closed on Tuesday at 4,360 won, 4.43% higher than Friday’s closing price. PNE saw its share dip 14.01% in the same time period to 19,950 won.