South Korea’s GNCO Co. that designs and makes casual wear has taken over local electric vehicle platform developer IT Engineering Co., jumping on the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon. It aims to start to mass produce electric vehicles in 2019.
According to the investment bank industry on Sunday, GNCO’s board approved a plan to purchase an 84.6 percent stake in IT Engineering at 3.5 billion won ($3.2 million). IT Engineering is an EV platform developer where Posco and Posco Capital have owned a combined 58.5 percent stake in it.
Following the acquisition, GNCO aims to break ground for an EV manufacturing factory with an output of 10,000 units per year in the first half of 2018 and start the operation of the factory in the second half of 2019. It will invest about 60 billion won in building the factory. The company said it will supply its electric vehicles not only to the local market but also overseas markets.
IT Engineering is an EV platform company that has successfully developed a high speed electric vehicle and its platform for the first time in Korea. Its electric vehicle MEV can drive 340 kilometers on a single charge with a speed of up to 140 kilometers per hour, according to the company. It earned the second-highest four-star rating in the crash safety test by the Korean New Car Assessment Program.
GNCO is a casual clothing maker renowned for its signature brand Thursday Island. The company has reported an operating loss of 4.1 billion won on sales of 91 billion won in the January-September period this year. It is also a mother company of Korean private equity fund Q Capital Partners with a controlling stake of 52.05 percent.
Shares of GNCO Monday ended 16.94 percent up at 3,520 won from the previous session.
By Chung Seung-hwan and Lee Ha-yeon
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