South Korea’s mid-sized lithium ion battery maker Routejade has drawn pre-IPO funding from local private equity fund Ace Equity Partners to expand capacity amid surging demand for rechargeables for various mobile devices.
Ace Equity bought 80 billion won ($6.7 million) in existing shares from shareholders of Routejade and new issues. State lender Korea Development Bank backed the financing.
Routejade, established in March 2000, delivered 3 billion won in operating profit on sales of 26 billion won in 2020. In 2010, it drew 10 billion won investment from Skylake Equity Partners.
The company specializes in coin type Li-ion batteries powering various mobile devices from medical equipment to drones. Small Li-ion global market is estimated at 10 trillion won per year.
Routejade plans to use the proceeds to expand capacity to meet growing demand. It hopes to go public within the next two to three years.
Ace Equity, established in 2017, focuses on investment in domestic and foreign hi-tech companies engaged in IT, 5G mobile communication, and semiconductor. The investment manager, led by CEO Ko Young-man, recovered its investment in Precysley, a Canadian-based MEMS (micro-electric mechanical systems) company, by selling it to Hankook and Company Group. The company drew spotlight in 2020 after it listed Korea’s first special purpose-acquisition company on the Nasdaq.
By Cho Yun-hee and Jenny Lee
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