LG Energy Solution kicks off near $10 bn IPO process with eye possibly in 2H

2021.01.13 10:46:21 | 2021.01.13 16:38:48

[Photo provided by LG Energy Solution Ltd.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by LG Energy Solution Ltd.]

LG Energy Solution Ltd., an electric vehicle battery unit spun off from LG Chem Ltd in December, has kicked off the initial public offering process as the market anticipates wildly for the possibly biggest IPO in Korean history.

The EV battery giant has invited securities firms at home and abroad to lead its IPO, according to investment industry sources on Tuesday. The company will take proposals by Jan. 21 to select the book-running syndicate next month.

LG Energy Solution has not revealed whether it will seek listing on Korea’s benchmark bourse Kospi or Nasdaq in the U.S. But it is expected to join the Kospi, possibly in the second half of this year.

“LG Energy Solution is believed to be planning to choose three domestic securities firms and another three foreign names for the IPO underwriting, which suggests it is tilted towards Kospi,” said a market watcher.

LG Energy Solution separated from LG Chem as a pure-play battery maker on Dec. 1, 2020, and is 100-percent owned by its parent. Shares of LG Chem rose 3.95 percent to close at 1,000,000 won ($9,128.25) on Wednesday.

It leads the global lithium-ion battery market with the largest capacity in the EV and energy storage system (ESS) segments.

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The company is in a cutthroat race for the top place in the global EV battery market with China’s CATL that overtook LG Energy Solution with 24.2 percent market share, based on January-November 2020 shipment, due largely to EV demand in China. LG Energy Solution, which ranked No. 2 with a 22.6 percent share, had championed the global market until October.

Market experts estimate LG Energy Solution’s worth at minimum 50 trillion won, with some projecting as high as 90 trillion won based on the company’s long-term strength in the high-growth EV battery market. The general consensus on the company’s enterprise value is 60-70 trillion won.

LG Energy Solution’s IPO is expected to be the largest ever in the Korean IPO history as it could raise a minimum 10 trillion from IPO. That would be more than double the current record high set by Samsung Life Insurance in 2010 with 4.9 trillion won.

Some projects LG Energy Solution could seek private investors through pre-IPO placement before going public.

By Kang Woo-seok, Kang In-seon, and Cho Jeehyun

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