In December 2021, we heard that the Volkswagen Group is consolidating its battery-related activities along the entire value chain into a new European battery company.
It's envisioned to cover all aspects of the EV batteries, including cell production with six battery gigafactories by 2030 with a total output of 240 GWh/year.
According to the latest news, at some point, the German company might list the new company in an initial public offering (IPO) and end up owning only a minority stake (the majority of shares would be sold to external investors).
Such a possibility was hinted at by Thomas Schmall - Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen AG and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components - according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper (via Reuters):
“If unit sales of electric vehicles grow the way we expect it would make sense to bring on board external investors. But we want to remain at the steering wheel,”
“For that one does not necessarily need the majority.”
In other words, Volkswagen's in-house battery division (maybe with some plant joint ventures) will operate as a subsidiary, but in the future, it might become a satellite supplier.
In the long-term, the battery company is expected to supply batteries also for other manufacturers:
“We want to set a standard for our industry.”
Theoretically, Volkswagen could maintain control over the battery division even with a minority stake (through shares with higher voting power).
Anyway, it's quite surprising, because we thought that the direction is to take batteries entirely in-house.
It seems that this decade, we will see plenty of large battery-related IPOs, including the upcoming LG Chem's LG Energy Solution (see more here) and expected SK Innovation's SK On.