KKR invests in a Korean auto part maker

KKR invests in a Korean auto part maker

KKR said it has alongside LS Group completed its investment in LS Automotive an electrical auto parts maker for the global automotive industry.

The deal has led to the acquisition and carve-out of KCF Technologies Co., Ltd., the copper foil and flexible copper clad laminate business formerly known as LS Mtron.

By leveraging KKR’s expertise and global network, KKR’s partnership with LSA and KCFT will accelerate the companies’ growth in domestic and overseas markets, help to penetrate new verticals, and increase sales in existing markets. Further, KCFT will leverage KKR’s expertise in completing complex, strategic carve-outs from corporations worldwide and supporting these companies in operating as independent entities.

Hyoung Seok Lim and Chung Ho Park, Managing Directors at KKR, said, “LS Automotive and KCF Technologies are world-class businesses and leaders in their respective fields. We are excited to partner with their management teams to support long-term growth as the auto industry rapidly evolves and global customers increasingly seek environmentally friendlier automobiles.”

“This milestone for LS Group enables us to strengthen our focus on our core businesses while finding an exceptional, long-term partner for our copper foil business. With such a high-caliber partner by our side, we are confident in LS Automotive and KCF Technologies’ ability to meet their full potential in the years to come,” said Joon-woo Lee, Senior Vice President of LS Corp.

Dr. Young-tae Kim, CEO of KCFT, added, “Our partnership with KKR is transformational in that KCF Technologies will operate as a standalone company for the first time in its history. We’re thrilled to work alongside KKR given its track record of carving-out and helping companies operate independently by driving sustainable operational improvements. Together, we look forward to delivering great value to existing customers while expanding into new segments under our fresh brand.”

Established in 1973, LSA is a leading auto parts company in South Korea that has successfully established globally competitive positions in high-growth auto component segments including switches, interior lamps and human machine interface (“HMI”) systems, and electrical and electronics components such as power seat modules, electrical control units, sensors and relays. LSA is the top Tier-1 supplier of HMI components to Hyundai Kia Motors, as well as major global original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) in the U.S. and Japan, and leading local OEMs in China and India.

KCFT manufactures and sells copper foils for large capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicle (“EV”) applications and mobile devices. The copper foil business for EV battery applications is expected to be among the fastest-growing segments of the auto industry due to rising demand for environmentally friendlier transportation. KCFT supplies global EV battery leaders including LG Chemical and major battery manufacturers in Japan and China.

KKR makes its investment from its US$9.3 billion KKR Asian Fund III.