Samsung SDI is considering investing into Philoptics, one of South Korea’s largest EV battery equipment companies specializing in stacking equipment, to create a mutually beneficial partnership.
Industry sources said on Mar. 3 that the Samsung affiliate is mulling plans to make direct investments into Philoptics – most likely via PBM, the energy division that was recently decided to be spun off from Philoptics.
The sources said the two sides have discussed the deal in detail. “We understand that PBM itself was the result of prior discussions with Samsung SDI on follow-up investment,” said one market watcher, adding that battery making equipment going into Samsung SDI’s Hungary plant is already being produced by Philoptics.
For Samsung, this would mean it could effectively eliminate the possibility of technology leaks, while for Philoptics, it would be securing a steady client.
SDI will require more suppliers as it plans to finish expanding its plant in Göd of Hungary in the latter half of this year to produce Gen5 batteries, which are being manufactured with NCA cathode. This will mark the first time to apply the stacking procedure to this plant, a move that will help improve energy density and price efficiency of the EV batteries.
Samsung SDI officials conceded that talks are underway, but stressed that nothing has been decided. More details are likely to become available after PBM launches as scheduled on Apr. 1. The partnership would be a time-consuming process, industry watchers said, given that it took more than 6 months for Samsung SDI to create a joint venture with cathode manufacturer EcoPro BM.
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