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IPOs

Elecfoil maker IMM Tech aims Korean listing

Nov 09, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Iljin Materials Co., a South Korean battery materials maker, is planning to list its Malaysia-based subsidiary IMM Technology on South Korea’s bourse, fueling hype over the secondary battery elecfoil maker expected to post $359 million in revenue next year.

IMM Technology recently mandated Korea Investment & Securities Co. and Shinhan Investment Corp. as underwriters, according to the investment banking industry on Nov. 9. 

IMM Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iljin Materials. Established in July 2017, the company produces 20,000 tons of elecfoil annually, more than Iljin's Korea-based factory that produces around 16,000 tons. IMM Technology plans to construct additional factories to increase its annual production to 30,000 tons by next year.

Elecfoil is a thin copper foil used for cathode collectors in secondary batteries. It is widely used in electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage systems (ESS). The rise in the EV market has propelled enormous growth in the elecfoil market.



IMM Technology is set to see its revenue surge this year. Already in the first half, the company posted 52.2 billion won ($46.8 million) compared to last year's revenue of 43.7 billion won ($39.2 million).

The securities industry expects IMM Technology to post around 150 billion won ($135 million) in revenue for the year and touch around 420 billion won next year. The company is rising as a key subsidiary driving Iljin Group's growth.

IMM Technology's enterprise value is expected to exceed billions of dollars as it is anticipated to outperform its parent company and become the core elecfoil maker.

As of Nov. 9, Kospi-listed Iljin Materials' market cap stands at 2.1 trillion won, factoring in IMM Technology's value. This year, Iljin Materials is expected to post over 600 billion won ($538 million) in revenue of which IMM Technology is likely to account for around one-fourth.

Industry watchers say that if LG Energy Solutions, LG Chem's EV battery spin-off, is listed then it may follow in IMM Technology's footsteps. LG Energy Solutions' enterprise valuation is predicted to exceed LG Chem's market cap of 50 trillion won.

Elecfoil, widely used in secondary batteries


IMM Technology's plans to go public may reflect the intent of its financial investor STIC Investments, a Korean private equity firm, which invested 600 billion won by acquiring the company's convertible bonds at the end of 2019.

The Malaysia-based elecfoil maker plans to inject 300 billion won to construct a second and third production plant by next year, and use the remaining 300 billion won to set up additional plants based on the demand.

"The company is expected to go public at the end of next year when the newly constructed plants begin production," said an investment banking industry source. "The secondary battery market is seeing rapid growth so there's a strong possibility that the PE firm will pocket more than its investments upon the company's trading debut."

IMM Technology’s headquarters is based in Malaysia, which technically makes it a foreign company. Recently there have been more instances of domestic-listed companies listing their overseas branches onto a Korean bourse given the IPO market boom in Korea.

Earlier this year, local genomics company Macrogen listed its US-subsidiary Psomagen on the country's tech-heavy junior bourse Kosdaq, the first time for a foreign company to make a trading debut under a special technology exception policy. 

Write to Ye-jin Jun at ace@hankyung.com

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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