Chinese Electric-Car Charging Provider StarCharge Eyes IPO
October 12, 2020
(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric-vehicle charging equipment provider StarCharge plans to start the process for an initial public offering, just weeks after completing a Series A fundraising round.
The company, registered as Wanbang Digital Energy Co., aims to list on a mainland bourse and has hired Guotai Junan Securities Co. to assist, according to a statement dated Oct. 9 on its website. It didn’t provide more details. StarCharge last month completed a 855 million yuan ($125 million) capital raising led by Schneider Electric SE and a fund under CICC Capital that attracted investors including Morgan Stanley and CCB International.
EV makers and related companies have captured investors’ attention this year as consumer demand for more environmentally friendly and high-tech cars increases. Shares of Tesla Inc. and NIO Inc. have surged while Chinese EV manufacturers Li Auto Inc. and XPeng Inc. have had successful U.S. stock market debuts.
The world’s biggest maker of EV batteries, LG Chem Ltd., is also planning on spinning off its EV battery business into a separate entity in a bid to carve out value.
StarCharge has been profitable for three consecutive years, the company’s chairwoman Shao Danwei, is quoted as saying on the group’s website. Calls to the company, based in Changzhou in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, seeking further details weren’t immediately answered.
Along with rivals Qingdao TGood Electric Co. and State Grid Corp. of China, StarCharge provides a range of charging solutions for EVs, from large petrol station-like centers to smaller ones meant for residential use.
China is the world’s biggest EV market and sales are recovering after taking a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Competition in the sector is fierce with local players like NIO and BYD Co. vying for attention with international brands.
StarCharge, which was founded in 2014, has clients including Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.
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