Battery maker Northvolt in talks to hire IPO banks -sources

By Anirban Sen and Supantha Mukherjee

(Reuters) – Northvolt, the Swedish lithium-ion battery producer that counts BMW and Volkswagen among its investors, is close to hiring banks for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company at more than $20 billion, four sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The company, which last raised funding from investors at a valuation of $12 billion in 2021, is expected to tap Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley to lead a stock market launch, the sources said.

Northvolt is discussing listing its shares in Europe or New York within the next 12 months, the sources said, cautioning that the plans are tentative and subject to change.

The sources requested anonymity to discuss details of the IPO preparations.

Northvolt has raised about $8 billion in debt and equity to date from a wide range of investors, including Baillie Gifford and Folksam Group.

“We will need more capital going forward, and we see it as natural to be prepared for an initial public offering in the future, but such a transaction is not relevant today in current markets,” a Northvolt spokesperson said.

The potential share sale would come in an IPO market in gradual recovery from a 2022 slump driven by stock market volatility and fears of an economic slowdown.

Several big companies, including SoftBank-backed chipmaker Arm Holdings and social media company Reddit, are also preparing to go public in late 2023.

Northvolt has so far raised billions in debt to fund its factory investments, including $1.1 billion raised last year in convertible notes that have helped it to increase liquidity and ramp up production at its gigafactory in Skelleftea, Sweden.

Building such facilities is a costly undertaking, highlighted last month by the collapse of Britishvolt after it failed to to raise funds for an electric vehicle battery factory.

(Reporting by Anirban Sen in New York and Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Lincoln Feast)