The Korea Herald


LS chief vows to expand presence in Europe

Chairman Koo Ja-eun wraps up on-site trip to Germany, Poland and Serbia

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : April 10, 2023 - 16:07

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LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-eun (left) visits L&K's oxygen-free copper plant in Germany. (LS Group) LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-eun (left) visits L&K's oxygen-free copper plant in Germany. (LS Group)

LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-eun has completed a nine-day trip to Europe as the South Korean conglomerate looks to expand its presence in the electric vehicle ecosystem of the region.

According to LS Group Monday, Koo visited the local production sites of LS Cable & System and Superior Essex in Germany, Poland and Serbia from April 2-9. Koo conducted on-site tours to check the manufacturing processes of copper wires for EVs, battery parts and communication cables during his first overseas trip since he took over as group chairman early last year.

Superior Essex, a US cable manufacturer acquired by LS Group in 2009, took over German L&K in January to address the increasing demand for EVs in Europe.

L&K, a leading producer of oxygen-free copper in Europe, produces about 65,000 metric tons of oxygen-free copper per year, which is enough to supply up to 20 million vehicles. Oxygen-free copper is an essential material in making copper wires for EV motors.

With the L&K acquisition, LS Group has established an EV value chain in Europe, as L&K supplies oxygen-free copper to the German and Serbian plants of Superior Essex to manufacture copper wires for automakers in the region.

“We will strengthen the position of LS more in Europe where the automotive and electric industries have been traditionally strong,” said Koo as he visited the L&K’s plant. “We will reorganize our businesses centered around high-value products and increase the production efficiency to deal with the European EV market that is seeing more demand.”

According to LS Group, the chairman also visited LG Energy Solution’s Polish plant in Wroclaw to check out the manufacturing process of the South Korean company’s battery cells, modules and packs. Koo reaffirmed the business partnership between the two companies and discussed ways to create more synergy.

In January, LS Group set out the future growth plan to invest over 20 trillion won for the next eight years to double the value of its total assets to 50 trillion won by 2030. Highlighting carbon-free electricity as the core of the 2030 vision, Koo picked clean energy, cable solutions and electric power distribution as the future growth businesses. The chairman emphasized the growth opportunities in the battery, EV and semiconductor industries, indicating the group’s plan to bolster the related businesses.