Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930) is looking to take the plunge into electric vehicle (EV) technology with a sizable investment into BYD Co., (HKG:1211) the world’s largest electric car manufacturer.
The division of Samsung, one of the most important “chaebols”, or conglomerates in South Korea, said investing in BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., (NYSE:BRK.A), is expected to bolster the South Korean company’s semiconductor business for cars. Samsung Electronics is the largest maker of cellular phones and memory chips in the world.
Talks between the two companies have apparently been underway the last few days. Korea Economic Daily reported on Friday that Samsung Electronics is about to pull the trigger on a 3-billion yuan (US$450 million) investment in Shenzhen-based BYD for a 4% share of the company.
However Samsung denies that report, saying that talks are still ongoing. BYD says the investment would most likely come in the form of a private placement.
According to Bloomberg the likely deal came about “…after [Samsung’s] affiliate was among foreign battery makers left off a list of suppliers approved by China, where sales of electric vehicles are surging and the government has sped up construction of charging points.
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