LG Energy Solution, the electric vehicle battery business split off from LG Chem, has hired seven brokers and banks to prepare for an initial public offering (IPO) in what could be one of the biggest listings in South Korea.
KB Securities and Morgan Stanley have won top roles on the offering. Shinhan Investment, Daishin Securities, Citigroup Global Markets Korea Securities, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have been named as joint bookrunners.
Bankers spent the end of last month making presentations online for a role on the deal and about nine local brokers and foreign investment banks got invitations.
LG Energy Solution is expected to meet with the selected underwriters soon to decide on the IPO timeline. It is speeding up the preparations as it aims to file a preliminary prospectus with securities regulatory authorities by the first half of this year.
“The results come as no surprise,” an industry insider said. “Most of the brokers and banks seem happy with the results.”
Bankers reportedly put an average valuation on the company of between 90 trillion won ($80 billion) and 95 trillion won during their presentations, with some foreign investment banks concluding the company was worth as much as 100 trillion won.
With an IPO discount, which is normally 25% to 30%, the company’s market capitalization is expected to be around 60 trillion won to 70 trillion won at its stock market debut. This would mean that the listing could make LG Energy Solution one of the largest publicly traded companies in the Seoul stock exchange.
The top five publicly traded companies by market capitalization now are Samsung Electronics (499 trillion won), SK Hynix (89 trillion won), LG Chem (66 trillion won), Naver Corp (58 trillion won) and Samsung Biologics (55 trillion won).
If it happens this year, the offering will also make 2021 a record year for IPO activity, ahead of 2010, when Samsung Life Insurance and Hanwha Life Insurance went public. (Reporting by Chul Kang)