Another Battery IPO on the Way, This Time in China

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eve-energy-logoThe initial public offering of battery maker A123Systems has been in the works for more than a year, and now that the company has finally set the terms for its offering, it’s carrying the hopes of a lot of startups and investors that it will jumpstart the IPO markets, especially for cleantech companies.

A123 isn’t the only battery firm gearing up for a public offering, however. A lithium battery company called EVE Energy, which holds 39 percent of the market in China, has just gotten the green light from regulators to make an initial public offering next month on the country’s new Growth Enterprise Market, or GEM.

The GEM is meant to fund technology-driven startups with high-growth potential, including companies working in the renewable energy and “environmental protection” sectors. But as the Wall Street Journal noted this week, the initial application approvals have been going to more established companies (such as EVE), likely in an effort to get the exchange off to a stable start when it launches in mid-October.

China’s securities regulator approved EVE’s application along with 13 other companies this week for the GEM. At least 155 firms have applied to go public on the GEM since the gates opened in late July, according to the official Xinhua news agency (hat tip Reuters).

Within a decade, China’s potentially $220 billion vehicle market will be dominated by electric cars, research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan anticipates. In the U.S., A123 will likely serve to test the waters for future energy storage and EV tech IPOs. If China’s GEM ever develops into the market it’s envisioned as for less-established companies (a mighty if), then EVE may be one to watch for EV battery startups, as the Chinese lithium battery market that the company now dominates comes to encompass more and more vehicle applications.

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