LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES) made its debut on the main South Korean stock exchange (Kospi) on Thursday, with its shares closing the day up 68% at KRW505,000 (US$419) per share compared with its IPO price of KRW300,000, after almost doubling in early trade.
South Korea’s largest electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer finished its first day of trading with a market capitalisation of KRW118trn (US$98bn), making it the second most valuable company listed on the exchange after Samsung Electronics which has a current market capitalisation of around US$408bn.
Ahead of the listing, LGES CEO Kwon Young-soo said his company aimed to overtake China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL) to become the world’s largest global supplier of electric/hybrid vehicle batteries by the end of the decade. He listed his company’s key relative strengths, including its perceived larger order backlog which he says is worth KRW260trn (US$218bn), stronger intellectual properties (IP) rights and a more diversified foreign client base.
Kown said: “We overwhelm our competitor in terms of IP, we have a more diverse client base in the US and Europe and we have production bases in these regions to supply our clients, which CATL does not have.”
South Korean company SNE Research estimated CATL’s global market share was around 32% last year while LGES was second with a 21% share.
Earlier this week LGES announced construction of a new US$2.6bn plant in Michigan, its third under its growing Ultium Cells LLC partnership with General Motors.
LGES is also building its own network of battery plants worldwide, which includes factories in South Korea, China, the US, Poland and Indonesia.