LG Energy Solution gets Korea Exchange’s nod for planned IPO

LG Energy Solution, the battery unit wholly owned by LG Chem, has received preliminary approval for an initial public offering, the Korea Exchange said in a statement on Tuesday.

LG Energy Solution is reportedly planning to submit its IPO application to Financial Supervisory Service as early as this week, aiming to list at the end of January.

In June, LG Energy suspended its IPO process on the heels of a series of recalls from U.S. automaker General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles due to possible battery cell defects that could increase the risk of fire. 

General Motors has said it would seek reimbursement from LG Chem, GM’s battery cell manufacturing partner, for its estimated $1 billion worth of losses. LG Energy and LG Electronics settled the recall issue for $1.1 billion (1.4 trillion won) in expenses to pay GM for the Bolt EV recalls.

LG Energy Solution said last month it will resume its planned IPO after reaching an agreement over the recall-related issue with General Motors in September. 

Seoul-based analysts have forecast an IPO size of $8.3 billion (10 trillion won) after estimating LG Energy Solution’s valuation at between $50.5 billion (60 trillion won) and $58.9 billion, which would be one of the largest IPO deals in South Korea.

The company spokesperson declined to comment on the IPO.

LG Energy posted $11.2 billion in revenue as of September, based on its financial report.

LG Energy Solution competes with China’s CATL and BYD, Japan-based Panasonic, and South Korea’s SK Innovation and Samsung SDI. 

LG Chem has unveiled a plan to invest $5.2 billion through 2025 to ramp up its battery business in the U.S.

LG Chem said last week that LG Energy Solution Michigan plans to raise $1.36 billion in funding to establish new EV battery production facilities in North America. The company will use the proceeds to increase EV batteries and energy storage systems (ESS) production, meeting growing demand.

In October, LG Energy and Stellantis announced a preliminary deal, which still must be approved by the regulators, to form a joint venture to produce battery cells and modules in North America, with an annual capacity of 40 gigawatt-hours.

The company also entered a six-year agreement with an Australia-based mining firm for the stable supply of key minerals (cobalt and nickel) used in cathode production.