12. August 2021 | 11:25 CET
BASF, Meta Materials, IBU-Tec, SGL Carbon - Materials that dreams are made of!
Whether e-mobility, aircraft technology or renewable energies - there are inherent scarcities and political implications in many high-tech materials essential for the German economy and future and resource-efficient technologies. Their production and further processing cost a lot of precious energy, and not all environmental or health impacts have been clarified. Mining companies and processing industries are therefore required to observe sustainability principles and not just implement them on paper. Some companies take a proactive approach to this issue, while others must first be forced into line politically. We take a look at some of the protagonists.
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ISIN: BASF SE NA O.N. | DE000BASF111 , IBU-TEC ADV.MATER. INH.ON | DE000A0XYHT5 , SGL CARBON SE O.N. | DE0007235301 , CA59134L1085
Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.
BASF - Important raw materials for industry
BASF SE is one of the most important processors of raw materials in Germany. The Company has its origins in the Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik, founded in Mannheim in 1865; today, its headquarters are in Ludwigshafen. BASF employs more than 110,000 people worldwide and operates at 390 production sites. With sales of around EUR 59 billion, BASF is the world's largest chemical company in terms of sales.
In the context of sustainably produced industrial goods, BASF's pre-products are very important. In order to show a separation sharpness in the individual segments, innovative production processes are also gladly introduced under new names. The chemical group BASF, for example, groups its "green" plastic additives under the new brand "VALERAS". The new portfolio included all additives that offer significant sustainability value for plastics applications, such as improving durability, saving energy, reducing emissions or promoting biodiversity. The associated business unit is called "Performance Chemicals." In the coming months, the portfolio will be expanded to include additive packages for mechanically recycled plastics and their applications.
On the other hand, in the battery technology sector, with production facilities for cathode materials in Harjavalta (Finland) and Schwarzheide (Brandenburg), the aim is to offer all precursors with a positive sustainability balance from 2022. That is to be made possible by responsible and reliable raw material procurement. At the same time, the chemical company aims to have the lowest carbon footprint along the supply chain.
BASF shares are among the top performers on the DAX - up 35% over the past 12 months. As a highly cyclical stock, it is particularly suitable for dynamic investors.
Meta Materials - High-tech materials for a sustainable future
The high-tech Company Meta Materials Inc (META®) from Nova Scotia, Canada, produces a range of highly functional materials for various applications. Its proprietary technology platform includes three core competencies: holography, lithography, and wireless sensing with strong IT networking and artificial intelligence (AI) embedding. The versatile approach enables a host of solutions and functional prototypes to be developed faster and at a lower cost than traditional chemical synthesis. Target industries include energy, aerospace, defense and automotive. META® is well known for its collaboration with Airbus in the development of the metaAIR® laser glare shield for pilots. However, the application portfolio is already extensive.
Metamaterials are a new class of functional materials developed based on unique patterns or structures. They interact with light and other forms of energy in ways not found in nature. The resulting properties and capabilities go beyond the specifications of natural materials and generally cannot be created using conventional material development or specialty chemical manufacturing technologies.
Meta Materials' products have the status of enablers or system suppliers, enabling leading global brands (OEMs) to deliver breakthrough products in consumer electronics, 5G communications, health and wellness, aerospace, automotive and clean energy. To this end, META® has held a broad and growing portfolio of intellectual property, patents and trademarks since its inception. Its inventions have been introduced and recognized worldwide, which recently led to its inclusion in the ranks of the Global Cleantech 100 companies.
The META® share is listed on the Nasdaq and German stock exchanges under the symbol MMAT. The share rose very strongly after its launch in 2020 and has now settled at approximately USD 3.60. At this price, the Company has a valuation of about EUR 890 million. In our opinion, the Company's attractive pipeline should be worth an initial investment.
IBU-Tec and SGL Carbon - Profiteers from the material shortage
We want to take a brief look at two other companies from the high-tech materials sector. These are the specialty chemicals Company IBU-Tec and the carbon expert SGL Carbon.
IBU-Tec, based in Thuringia, Germany, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Blackstone Technology, an innovative German cathode manufacturer, to supply LFP battery material. The contract covers a quantity in the three-digit ton range in the first year and subsequently annual tonnages up to the mid-four-digit range. The IBU-Tec material is intended for use in cathodes of LFP battery cells, which are used, among other things, in the field of e-mobility, in special vehicle construction or stationary energy storage systems. With this potential new customer, IBU-Tec intends to further strengthen its position in the growth market of battery materials. The share has enjoyed the utmost attention for several months.
The SGL Carbon Group, headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, is an international manufacturer of carbon and graphite products and glass and carbon fiber reinforced plastics. In carbon, graphite and composite materials, SGL is one of the world's leading companies. After a long restructuring phase, SGL's new focus is aimed in particular at the chemical, automotive, semiconductor, LED, lithium-ion battery and solar industries.
Both companies have picked up the baton to be at the forefront of the materials supplier race. Prices have already jumped, yet they still offer decent potential. IBU-Tec can be collected below EUR 50, and SGL appears attractive again below EUR 8.50.
The investment theme of high-tech materials in the large context of renewable energies and e-mobility has become a perennial favorite for investors willing to take risks. In some cases, valuations have already advanced considerably. However, new candidates such as Meta Materials are always sought after in this environment, and good company news is the order of the day here.