Battery producer with Jackson County plant settles lawsuit

Days after FOX 5 Atlanta reported SK Innovation threatened to abandon its Atlanta-area battery plant if the federal government didn't intervene in its lawsuit, the company has reached a settlement with LG Energy Solutions.

LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation announced on Sunday they have agreed to settle all legal disputes relating to EV batteries in the United States and Korea. SK Innovation will pay LG Energy Solution 2 trillion won, equal to about $1.8 billion, apportioned into lump-sum payments and a running royalty.

The companies agreed to withdraw all pending legal disputes in the United States and Korea and agreed to a 10-year non-assertion.

RELATED: Biden sees `win’ for US in electric vehicle battery deal

The CEOs of both companies released a joint statement Sunday morning. 

"LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation have decided to settle to compete in an amicable way, all for the future of the U.S. and South Korean electric vehicle battery industries," said Jong Hyun Kim, CEO and President of LG Energy Solution and Jun Kim, CEO and President of SK Innovation. "We are dedicated to work together to support the Biden Administration’s climate agenda and to develop a robust U.S. supply chain."

SK Battery was threatening to stop work on its promised factory in Jackson County and leave the country unless President Joe Biden sided with them.

Biden released a statement Sunday morning, shortly after the settlement was announced:

"This settlement agreement is a win for American workers and the American auto industry. A key part of my plan to Build Back Better is to have the electric vehicles and batteries of the future built here in America, all across America, by American workers. We need a strong, diversified and resilient U.S.-based electric vehicle battery supply chain, so we can supply the growing global demand for these vehicles and components — creating good-paying jobs here at home, and laying the groundwork for the jobs of tomorrow. Today’s settlement is a positive step in that direction, which will bring some welcome relief to workers in Georgia and new opportunity for workers across the country. I want to thank Ambassador Katherine Tai for her tireless work to resolve this dispute and facilitate a settlement that is good for America’s future in the electric vehicle industry, and good for job creation. My American Jobs Plan will help build on this momentum, creating millions of new jobs, supporting a stronger American auto industry and making sure that we win the electric vehicle markets of the future."

"The successful negotiations means that billions of dollars of investment and thousands of skilled jobs are coming to Georgia and staying in Georgia. It also means that Georgia can be a leading producer of electric battery technology," Sen. Jon Ossoff said.

SK gave Biden a deadline of April 11 to reverse a decision that punishes SK over allegations it stole trade secrets from LG to build the $2.6 billion plant, expected to provide an estimated 2,600 green jobs for Georgia.

"This investment will attract more investments and more jobs. That’s why we couldn’t allow this plant to be shuttered," Senator Ossoff said.

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff said during an interview he has been deeply involved in the negotiations, especially within the last week.

At one point SK Innovation threatened to abandon the Battery Plant in Jackson County if the federal government didn’t intervene in its lawsuit.

"When the president called me yesterday to confirm a settlement had been reached. I spoke with him about how important it is we continue investing in economic opportunity and job creation in Georgia," Ossoff said.

In February, SK Battery’s parent company SK Innovation suffered a huge embarrassment. The United States International Trade Commission ruled the company tried to destroy evidence it stole 22 trade secrets from a rival Korean battery manufacturer — LG, now called LG Energy Solutions.

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