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Taiyo Accumulates 5% Of W-Scope

Taiyo Pacific Partners announced today that it has accumulated in excess of 5% in W-SCOPE CORPORATION (6619) to become the 6th largest shareholder. The company (or “W-Scope”) is a global, leading provider of separators for lithium-ion secondary cell batteries used in portable devices as well as hybrid and electric cars. Taiyo Pacific Partners is a pioneer of friendly engagement investing in Japan and has been proactively working with senior management at its portfolio companies to enhance shareholder value for over 14 years.

Brian K. Heywood, Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of Taiyo Pacific Partners, said, “As we all know, separators play a critical role in preventing lithium-ion batteries from heating up or catching fire in key mobile devices such as cell phones. W-Scope is a relatively new entrant into the separator business, but has quickly built an efficient manufacturing process that allows the company to compete globally with larger competitors. With its laser-sharp focus and determination to provide high quality, cost-effective separators, we believe W-Scope is well positioned to capture the explosive growth driven by electric vehicles. Furthermore, we also believe that long term, its nano-membrane film technology can be used in other areas including water purification, air filters and medical devices for dialysis.”

Michael A. King, Chief Investment Officer and Founding Partner of Taiyo Pacific Partners, said, “W-Scope has established a very efficient production process for wet-type separators that will allow the company to meet the growing needs for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles at competitive cost. A cell phone only requires 1 lithium-ion battery cell, but an electric vehicle requires 7,000 cells per car. As the company shifts its customer base from portable devices to higher margin auto business, we believe the company will create long-term value. We believe the market has not yet appreciated the full potential of W-Scope.”

President Won-Kun Choi commented, “W-Scope is a company specializing in the production of lithium-ion battery separators leveraging our membrane film manufacturing technologies. Our products support many consumer products as well as the auto industry. Going forward, we aim to expand our technologies into wider business areas to provide a more enriching future for our society. We are grateful that Taiyo Pacific Partners has increased its holding by understanding our long-term goals and potentials. For a new venture like ours to further grow, we strongly believe that support by our customers, equipment manufacturers, financial institutions and especially by shareholders is critical. We look forward to our new partnership and to working closely with Taiyo Pacific Partners to further increase our corporate value.”