Another hot IPO year in 2022 at Seoul with big and intriguing lineup

2021.12.09 09:55:24 | 2021.12.09 09:56:29

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South Korean bourses promise of yet another year of red-hot IPOs in 2022 from $10 billion-plus big gun LG Energy Solution to rising e-commerce stars like Kurly and SSG.com.

Investment banks project next year’s IPO turnover could exceed 25 trillion won ($21 billion), larger than the estimated stellar worth of 17.5 trillion for this year with heavyweights like Krafton at 4.3 trillion won, Kakao Bank at 2.55 trillion won, and SK Bioscience at 1.5 trillion won.

The world’s No. 2 EV battery supplier LG Energy Solution opens the 2022 IPO calendar in bulky $11 billion scale. Initial 42.5 million issues out of 234 million outstanding shares will be offered at a price band of 257,000-300,000 won apiece. Pricing will take place after Jan. 11-12 institutional book-building.

At the top end, the IPO will be worth 12.75 trillion won to raise the bar in Korean IPO history. The biggest so far had been Samsung Life Insurance at 4.9 trillion won and Krafton. The stock could instantly join the No. 3 rank on the Kospi at a market cap exceeding 70 trillion won.

Hyundai Engineering will be the next big player to step up to the mound.

The construction and plant member of Hyundai Motor Group family will file its IPO prospectus next week. Its corporate value is estimated at 6 to 7 trillion won, given its upbeat performance. Operating income reached 314.2 trillion won on sales of 5.39 trillion won as of September, up 54.6 percent and 2.5 percent respectively on year.

Hyundai Oilbank, a refiner under Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, will be submitting prospectus to go public within the first quarter. Its worth was estimated at around 8 trillion won when 17 percent of ownership was sold to Saudi Aramco for $1.2 billion in 2019. The company is expected to rate its value at around 9 to 10 trillion won.

SK Group is fielding a number of IPO candidates.

Its first player is One Store, an app store venture by the country’s three local wireless carriers and Naver.

SK Shieldus, whose name changed from ADT Caps under newly formed investment holding entity SK Square, this month will file for IPO review for Kospi debut in the first half. Investment banks estimate One Store’s value at around 2 trillion won and SK Shieldus at 4 trillion won.

SK Group is also mulling to go public with 11Street, TMAP Mobility, SK Ecoplant, SK Siltron, and SK Pharmteco this year.

SSG.com from Shinsegae Group and Kakao Mobilty and Kakao Entertainment from investor-popular Kakao family are in the dugout for IPOs.

Well-known unicorns with valuation of over $1 billion are also readying to move up to the Kospi league. Candidates include No. 1 car-sharing platform SoCar, online fresh-food delivery pioneer Kurly, and online fashion leader Musinsa. SoCar eyes debut in the first quarter.

“The IPO choices in 2022 are expected to be diverse across the board with both traditional and up-and-coming names, which could be exciting for investors,” one IPO manager at an investment bank said.

By Kang Woo-seok and Hye-seung Seo

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