SK On considers pre-IPO for financing investments

Asia's Tech News Daily

By Kim Bo-eun

SK On considers pre-IPO for financing investments

SK On CEO Ji Dong-seop / Courtesy of SK Innovation

SK’s battery affiliate is moving quickly to secure much-needed funds to finance aggressive investments in the U.S. and China.

SK Innovation split off its battery business in October into a wholly owned subsidiary, SK On, as a means to raise funds via an IPO.

Given the company’s stock market debut is set to take time, as SK has yet to generate profit with its battery business, it is considering a pre-IPO, according to reports.

Local reports stated SK On has selected managers for the project, which would offer SK On stocks to foreign investors prior to its stock market listing.

SK On’s valuation is estimated at around 30 trillion won ($25.12 billion), and the company is reportedly seeking a pre-IPO for 10 percent of its valuation, which comes to 3 trillion won.

“We are currently reviewing a variety of strategies to secure financial soundness and funds for new investments, but details have not been decided,” SK Innovation stated on Friday.

SK, the latest market entrant among Korea’s top three battery makers, has moved aggressively to expand its market share by securing clients and investing in battery plants to boost its production capacity.

SK On’s cumulative book orders have exceeded 1 terawatt-hours, which ranks the company third among global battery firms.

SK On set up a joint venture with U.S. carmaker Ford Motor in September, under which three battery plants with a combined annual production capacity of 129 gigawatt-hours will be built in the U.S. by 2027.

SK also recently signed a deal to build its fourth EV battery production plant in China. The plant will be located in Yancheng city in the northeastern Jiangsu province.

SK On’s IPO is set to take place in 2024 at the earliest, given the company is waiting to proceed with the listing once it begins generating stable profits.

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