LG Electronics has acquired AppleMango, a South Korean electric vehicle battery charger developer, as the race to produce everything related to EVs ramps up globally. The acquisition, which was made jointly with GS Energy, an EV charging station operator, and GS Neotek, an IT provider, will allow LG to take advantage of future business opportunities, the company said.
“The EV charging market is expected to grow rapidly due to the surging demand for more eco-friendly vehicles,” said Paik Ki-mun, senior vice president of LG Electronics in a statement. “Leveraging our know-how and experience in the B2B sector, we will offer customized, integrated vehicle charging solutions for diverse customers, enhancing the competitiveness of our existing and ensuring our readiness for future opportunities.”
LG Electronics acquired a 60% stake while GS Energy and GS Neotek took over 34% and 6%, respectively, in AppleMango, which will become a subsidiary of LG Electronics following the deal. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. According to a local media report, the acquisition size is estimated at $7.8 million (10 billion KRW).
The move comes nearly a year after LG Electronics shut down its loss-making mobile business to focus on its growth areas such as electric vehicles, the internet of things (IoT) and B2B solutions.
LG Electronics is poised to leverage its expertise creating user-friendly interfaces to make the EV charging experience in South Korea a pleasant and easy one for drivers. Additionally, by moving into the EV charging business, LG can create more synergy between its EV battery development, energy storage systems, energy management solutions and chargers, the company said.
The tech giant plans to set up an EV charger production line at LG Digital Park in South Korea by the end of this year, aiming to provide customized EV charging solutions for private residences, shopping malls, hotels and public institutions. While LG did not say whether it intends to continue selling AppleMango's chargers, the acquired company brings to the deal a wide range of EV charging solution technologies, from slow chargers to rapid chargers for residential and business use.
LG Electronics entered the EV industry in 2013 by setting up the LG Vehicle Component Solutions company. It also acquired Austria-based automotive lighting company ZKW in 2018 to expand its EV business. It formed a joint venture with Magna International in December 2020 to manufacture e-motors, inverters, and onboard charges.