South Korea’s LG Chem to invest $134m in new tech, ESG fund

Yongsan-gu, South Korea. Photo: Janis Rozenfields/Unsplash

LG Chem, a chemicals and battery unit of South Korean conglomerate LG Corp, is investing 150 billion won ($134 million) in a new fund that will invest in companies focused on battery technologies and eco-friendly materials.

In a statement, LG Chem said it will be an anchor investor in Korea Battery & ESG Fund, which plans to raise a total of 400 billion won ($355 million). The fund is managed by IMM Credit Solution, a wholly-owned subsidiary of domestic private equity firm IMM PE.

This is the first time that LG Chem will invest as a limited partner in funds raised by an external asset management company.

“This investment will become the stepping stone for LG Chem to strengthen the ESG industrial ecosystem together with prospective SMEs and medium-sized corporations, and to continuously find future growth engines,” said LG Chem CEO Hak Cheol Shin in a statement.

The fund will potentially invest in companies involved in core materials for electric vehicle batteries, such as cathode and anode material manufacturing, recycling core metals for batteries, among others.

It will also prefer investing in tech firms in the eco-friendly industry materials sectors, including those involved in biodegradable plastic technologies.

“By combining LG Chem’s industrial and technological expertise with IMM Credit Solution’s competencies in analyzing and discovering target companies, the fund is expected to provide a broader perspective on the overall ESG-related industries and also find investment opportunities from the initial stages of prospective companies,” said a statement.

LG Chem is recruiting hundreds of personnel to further develop its advanced materials capabilities, especially in battery materials. It also seeks to increase its cathode production capacity from 40,000 tons last year to 260,000 tons by 2026.

The launch of the fund comes as investors are increasingly taking account of ESG factors, prompting major South Korean firms across manufacturing industries to accelerate their transition to a greener, more sustainable business.

Last year, LG Chem and Hyundai Motor Group were reported to be considering establishing an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing joint venture in Indonesia. The investment size and production capacity have not been decided, according to a Reuters report.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.