LG sees NanoH2O takeover as “new growth engine”

LG Chem, part of Korea’s LG electronics group, is proposing a takeover of desalination membrane maker NanoH2O for US$ 200 million, according to a filing made to the Korea Exchange on 14 March 2014.

LG entered the water treatment industry in February 2010, announcing that it would be investing more than US$ 400 million over the next decade in building a water treatment business with the goal of generating US$ 7 billion in revenue by 2020, in the process becoming a top 10 global water treatment company.

At that time, the company appeared to be concentrating on developing its own water treatment membranes, but seems now to have decided to buy membrane technology from outside. NanoH2O, based in El Segundo, California, was a start-up in 2005 from University of California Los Angeles and has become a very successful manufacturer of thin-film nanocomposite reverse-osmosis membranes.

LG Chem’s reasoning for the takeover in its listing is “water filter business development as new growth engine”.