The battery developer SES (formerly SolidEnergy Systems), spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has announced its going public on the US stock exchange. For this purpose, the company wants to merge with the stock exchange shell Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition.
After the merger with SPAC Ivanhoe, the company is to come to a valuation of 3.6 billion dollars, according to a statement by SES. In the course of the transaction, SES will receive 476 million dollars. In addition to the already known investors General Motors and Hyundai-Kia, SES also names Geely, SAIC, LG and Foxconn as backers in the new announcement. Concrete development agreements are not known here – unlike with GM and Hyundai-Kia.
Formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems, the company now only goes by the abbreviation SES. Reasons for the change of name are not given. It is possible that it was done because pure solid-state batteries are no longer the focus of the company. SES says its hybrid Li-Metal battery relies on a high energy density lithium metal anode, a protective anode coating and a “proprietary, highly concentrated solvent-in-salt liquid electrolyte”.
“SES’s Li-Metal battery performance has been verified by two independent third-party testing facilities, and multiple automakers,” said Qichao Hu, founder and CEO of SES. “Our battery performance is industry-leading under the full range of automotive operating environment and temperature, and is capable of delivering energy density of 400 Wh/kg with fast charge capability up to 80% in less than 15 minutes while meeting cycle life and safety requirements for electric vehicles.”
SES is based in Singapore. According to reports, prototypes of the hybrid lithium metal batteries for General Motors and Hyundai are “almost ready”. “The high energy density batteries that are being used today, whether it’s Tesla, GM or Hyundai, typically contain high nickel content,” Hu said in an interview. “Ultimately, the cost of raw materials in batteries will be reduced, so working with Ivanhoe, we can really address these important raw material supply issues.”
SPACs are investment firms set up for the very purpose of merging with another company, hence the term “special-purchase acquisition company” (SPAC). With such a SPAC deal, the otherwise usual procedures of an own IPO can be accelerated enormously in the case of a merger, since the SPAC is already listed on the stock exchange. In the USA, a classic IPO can take up to two years.