Polypore, the maker of battery separators and microporous membranes, is to be split in two and sold. The company announced that 3M will acquire the assets of Polypore’s Separations Media segment for about $1 billion, and Asahi Kasei will purchase the rest of the company for $60.50 per share. This represents an enterprise value for Polypore of approximately $3.2 billion.
Polypore’s energy storage business has two main elements: Celgard Li-ion battery separators and Daramic lead-acid battery separators. Asahi Kasei said that Polypore is a compelling fit with its own electronic materials business, and that the combination of the two companies’ Li-ion battery separator businesses will enable the development of more sophisticated products.
“The environment and energy is an area of strategic focus for us as we expand and grow, creating new value for the future,” said Asahi Kasei President Toshio Asano. “We look forward to combining our respective strengths in battery separator technology, achieving new innovations that contribute to solutions to the world’s environmental and energy challenges.”
Asahi Kasei foresees major growth and innovation in energy storage, especially in automotive applications, as emerging countries buy more vehicles and developed countries demand more eco-friendly solutions. Stationary energy storage systems that enable more efficient use of renewable energy should be another strong growth area.