SK IET, a material business unit under SK Innovation, has decided to delay its initial public offering (IPO) until mid-May to avoid overlapping with the planned listing of SK Bioscience, another affiliate of the SK Group.

The company applied for a preliminary review of its listing on the main KOSPI bourse on December 18, with an approval expected at around February 18. Given that an IPO process normally begins one or two weeks after the approval, SK IET could prepare from the end of February, but it has decided to push back the schedule.

Industry sources said SK IET will probably submit its registration statement and conduct a book building process after mid-April, and list its shares in May.

It is believed the decision was taken because SK Bioscience’s IPO process is scheduled to start around mid-February. SK Bioscience filed for its preliminary review for an IPO on December 1, and is expected to receive the results in early February.

SK IET and SK Bioscience would have had to compete for institutional and retail investors if they both started the listing process at the end of February. The companies would have wanted to avoid this situation, given that their deals will be among the biggest IPO blockbusters in 2021, worth over one trillion won.

Market insiders are showing keen interest in both deals.

SK Bioscience engages in contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and is particularly known for its vaccine culture technology, having partnered with British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and U.S.-based Novavax.

SK IET, a battery materials company, produces separation membranes for lithium-ion batteries, as well as film materials used in organic light-emitting diode panels.

By pushing back the schedule, SK IET will be able to show a more positive financial status and better business fundamentals as the valuation and IPO price are based on its financial performance in the previous year. (Reporting by Kyung-ju Lee)