FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Swiss technology group ABB plans to list its e-mobility division on the stock market next year in a deal that could value the fast-growing business at about $3 billion, according to three people close to the matter.
The e-mobility business, which makes fast chargers for electric cars and buses, is benefiting from a global boom in battery-powered vehicles.
ABB had previously announced plans for an initial public offering, but had not given a timeline or valuation. CEO Bjorn Rosengren said in April that the group would likely keep a majority stake after an IPO that would help the unit make acquisitions.
The company is working with investment bank Lilja on the preparations for the e-mobility IPO, said the sources, adding that UBS and Morgan Stanley are seen in the lead to fetch the global coordinator mandates of the 2022 flotation.
ABB and the three banks all declined to comment.
The carve-out of the unit, which has activities in 85 countries, is ongoing, according to the sources. They said a deal could happen in the first half of 2022, but that the timing could also slip.
Demand for ABB’s e-mobility devices is high as countries switch from petrol-fired cars to electric vehicles and build charging infrastructure.
The European Union has said it wants 1 million charging points installed by 2025 and 3 million by 2030, up from the 225,000 that were up and running in 2020.
ABB’s e-mobility business employs 850 staff and posted revenues of $220 million in 2020. It has recorded an average growth rate of 50% over the past five years, although that pace is expected to moderate in coming years.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimated in May that the unit’s sales would grow to $495 million next year.
Investors are placing high valuations on companies that make equipment to charge electric vehicles, and U.S. peers like ChargePoint and Blink Charging trade at more than 30 times their expected 2023 sales.
($1=1.0819 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Oliver Hirt; Editing by Pravin Char