SEOUL -- Key automotive battery supplier SK Innovation Co. said on Thursday its shareholders approved the company's proposal to separate its battery business into a new company.
The decision paves the way for the battery unit -- a key supplier for Ford Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and other automakers -- to potentially raise funds and go public to finance its high-cost production capacity expansion.
The unit, to be launched on Oct. 1, will initially be a wholly-owned subsidiary of SK Innovation, tentatively named "SK Battery Co. Ltd."
More than 80 percentr of SK Innovation shareholders voted in favor of the plan, SK Innovation said in a statement.
"It's crucial to secure timely financial resources for further quantitative and qualitative expansions in the future," SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun told shareholders.
"With the split-off of the battery business, we plan to evaluate various ways to secure resources, such as establishing joint ventures, partnerships and attracting strategic and financial investors."
Kim played down speculation the battery unit could go public as early as next year. He said the business, which is aiming to turn profitable in 2022, expects its financial performance to improve as its U.S. factories start operations.