South Korean energy company SK Innovation Company has received shareholder approval to spin off its battery unit which the company said would allow it to focus more closely on growth opportunity.

SK Innovation will become an energy focused holding company after the split with SK Group holding a 33.4% stake and institutional investors the remainder.

State-run National Pension Service, its second-largest shareholder with an 8.1% stake, opposed the split but was outvoted.

SK Innovation would control two companies, one encompassing its oil refinery and petrochemical business and the other its EV battery business, which are scheduled to be launched on 1 October.

The battery business is the country’s second largest EV battery supplier with Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Volkswagen its key customers. It has extensive operations in South Korea and Europe and is building significant new capacity in China, Europe and the US.

SK Innovation said in a statement: “The battery unit spin off is aimed at boosting the market valuation of the group’s new growth driver and spurring its further growth. It will pave the way for raising both corporate and shareholder value of SK Innovation.”

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