SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) — SK IE Technology Co. (SKIET), a battery materials subsidiary of SK Innovation Co., said Thursday it will make its debut on the Seoul bourse in mid-May, in what could be one of the biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) of this year.

SKIET, which makes lithium-ion battery separators, said it will list 21.4 million shares on the KOSPI market at prices between 78,000 won and 105,000 won, which would put its market value at up to 7.5 trillion won (US$6.6 billion).

The company expects to raise between 1.7 trillion won and 2.2 trillion won via the planned IPO.

SKIET supplies battery separators to major EV makers, including Tesla and Volkswagen, taking up 26.5 percent of the global wet separator market, according to SNE Research.

Separators are one of the key components of EV batteries, which are important in preventing batteries from exploding in the charging process, and take up about 15-20 percent of battery production costs.

SKIET said it will use the proceeds from the IPO to expand production as the wet separator market is expected to face a supply crunch beginning in 2023 in line with growing EV demand.

Roh Jae-sok, CEO of SKIET, said the company has been working on materials for solid state batteries, considered a next-generation battery candidate following lithium-ion cells, and will develop polyimide film technology for flexible displays to foster future growth drivers.

SKIET posted 468.3 billion won in sales and 125.2 billion won in operating profits last year, its financial report showed.

Last month, SKIET announced a 1.13 trillion-won investment plan to build two more separator plants at an existing complex in Poland to step up its production capacity. It also has factories in South Korea and China.

The IPO process comes after SK Innovation earlier this month agreed to pay 2 trillion won to its bigger home rival LG Energy Solution Ltd. to put an end to a two-year legal battle over EV battery technology.