South Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer SK On Company this week said it would not consider launching an initial public offering (IPO) for at least another two or three years, to give the company time to build its global market position and competitiveness and increase corporate value.
SK On was spun off from SK Innovation Company, part of the South Korean energy and chemicals conglomerate SK Group, last October as part of the company’s drive to maximise global growth.
It is one of South Korea’s three main EV battery manufacturers with a global market share estimated by local consulting firm SNE Research at just over 5% last year, mainly from domestic customers such as Hyundai Motor Group.
SK On has forged a close global partnership with Ford over the last year, with the two companies establishing the BlueOval SK joint venture to jointly invest US$11.5bn in two EV battery plants in the US with a combined production capacity 140GWh per year.
Last month this collaboration was expanded to Turkey, where the two partners and local company Koc Holding plan to jointly build a battery plant to supply Ford operations in the country.
SK Innovation’s CEO and vice chairman Kim Jun told media attending the company’s general shareholders meeting this week: “What is most important for an IPO to take place is that we need to have our battery business recognised in the market. I expect that we should be able to deliver the necessary performance, in terms of sales, profitability and stable management, after 2025. I believe it would be after 2025 if we were to do an IPO.”
LG Energy Solution, its largest domestic rival with a global market share estimated at over 20% last year, launched an IPO in January which attracted record bids from financial institutions.
Kim said SK On was seeking to raise funds at the pre-IPO stage to finance its global ambitions, adding: “We need large scale resources as we are continuing with facility expansion. We plan to sign investment contracts in the first half of 2022.”