SK Group has made instant gains with its latest bet in U.S. hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power as the stock value nearly doubled in five days.
The Nasdaq-listed Plug Power shares jumped to $69 on Wednesday, more than doubled from SK’s purchasing price of $29 per share.
On Jan. 7, SK Corp. and SK E&S Co. became the biggest shareholder of Plug Power by acquiring a 9.9 percent stake for 1.6 trillion won ($1.45 billion). The asset gains from the latest five-day surge amounted to nearly 2 trillion won.
Plug Power’s market cap soared to 34 trillion won from 16 trillion won in late December.
Plug Power is a fuel cell company in the U.S. that provides comprehensive hydrogen energy solutions including fuel cell engines and hydrogen electrolyzers.
[Photo provided by SK Group]
Shortly after SK’s investment, Plug Power announced a joint venture deal with French automaker Groupe Renault to integrate Plug Power’s fuel cell technology into commercial vans in Europe.
The JV aims to command more than 30 percent of Europe’s market for fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicles. The companies said they plan to have the new company set up by the end of the year.
SK Group has been making a big push in hydrogen to gain an edge in the growing hydrogen economy in Asia, Europe and the United States.
SK E&S is the group’s hydrogen business unit, armed with its own LNG infrastructure and plug power technology. It is working closely with parent company SK, which also has a stake in Vietnam’s largest private company Vingroup, in projects related to hydrogen vehicles and power generation to claim leadership in Asia’s burgeoning hydrogen market.
SK shares rose 2.87 percent to 305,00 won in Thursday morning trading.
By Choi Keun-do and Kim Hyo-jin
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