From left: Micro Holdings Head of Finance Clifford William, Micro Holdings Group Director Gordon Chung, Micro Holdings Deputy Chairman Sabrina Wahid, Micro Holdings Chairman Dr. Lawrence Perera, SK Group Senior Vice President C. H. Lee, SK Group General Manager E. C. Lee and SK Group Managing Director S. K. Tak. Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana
Amid the dearth of foreign investments to Sri Lanka, SK Group, a Fortune 500 company and South Korea’s 3rd largest diversified conglomerate yesterday announced that it will be making a US$30-40 million equity investment in local car manufacturing and assembly pioneer Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.
“It is an honour to partner with Micro. We are hoping to help Micro expand its production facilities, its industry related clusters and new projects Micro is investing in,” SK Group Senior Vice President C.H. Lee said.
Micro Holdings Chairman Dr. Lawrence Perera, who is currently the only shareholder of the company he founded, said that he is hoping to divest around 25-30 percent of shares.
“Before doing the due diligence they have come here. But of course they know our company well. After the due diligence they will do the investment,” he said.
Micro has an office in South Korea, and assembles South Korean cars in Sri Lanka, which has exposed Micro to South Korean firms. SK Group is the world’s second largest electric vehicle battery manufacturer, and Dr. Perera said that the technology would be put to use in the company’s latest offering, an electric vehicle, the prototype of which was unveiled this January.
“The future is electric cars,” he said.
Lee said that electric cars assembled by Micro would be exported globally, while Dr. Perera said that initial plans are to export electric vehicles to the South Asian region.
He said that while Micro’s US$ 13.5 million production plant, which produces around 50 vehicles daily would get some of SK Group’s investment, Micro’s future expansions will receive significant financing from SK as well.
“Especially our construction sector. SK is a hospitality management company and we are a construction company and we could own hotels,” he said.
Dr. Perera said that the investment signifies a victory for Sri Lanka by showing the world that leading companies in the world are interested in Sri Lanka’s industrial sector.
He said that SK Group is also interested in taking Micro public, which the company had been mulling during the past 3 years.
“Our plans for an initial public offering are still on. There’s no date yet. But SK is public and they’re also interested in us going public,” Dr. Perera added.
Micro also has plans to expand further with high tech public transportation in
Sri Lanka. (CW)