German battery manufacturer Akasol is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO)— and has its sights set on acquisitions buoyed by “strong growth” in the electric vehicle (EV) market.
The Darmstadt-based company, incorporated just 10 years ago, said its lithium-ion battery systems business has already amassed orders worth EUR1.45 billion ($1.7bn) through to 2024, with clients including Daimler, Alstom, Bombardier and Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
Akasol’s shares will be listed on the regulated market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange although the company did not say when. However, it said net proceeds from the IPO are “intended to drive organic growth, to maintain and expand a technologically leading position in e-mobility and to fund targeted mergers and acquisitions”.
The company also plans to open a battery production facility in the US state of Michigan in 2019, with a 300 megawatt-hours (MWh) annual production capacity.
Meanwhile, Akasol expects serial production to start at its plant in Langen, Germany, in the third quarter of 2018.
By 2020, Akasol plans to double production capacity at Langen from 300MWh to 600MWh annually.
The Shulz Group, which has a 76% stake in Akasol, will remain the majority shareholder after the offering. CEO and co-founder Sven Schulz said Akasol is “in the sweet spot of the high-performance battery value chain, between cell manufacturers and the e-mobility OEM sector”.
Future business will be driven by “global trends such as population growth, urbanisation, emission regulation and consumer demand for environmentally-friendly transportation”.
“In Germany, regulatory measures to restrict the use of diesel-powered vehicles could become more common,” Akasol said. “This is illustrated by the first driving ban on older diesel vehicles imposed by the German city of Hamburg at the end of May 2018 and by media reports that cities such as Stuttgart and Berlin do not rule out driving bans for their air pollution control plans.”
Despite being a young company, Akasol sees itself “as a pure play industry pioneer in electric powertrain battery systems technology with nearly 30 years of experience”.
The company’s roots go back to a namesake not-for-profit organisation founded in 1990 by professors and students of Germany’s Technical University of Darmstadt (TUD). In 2008, the company was incorporated as Akasol Engineering.
Last month, Akasol unveiled its first cylindrical-cells battery system with very high energy density which it claims can boost the driving range of plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles “by more that 60%”.