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Buffett-backed BYD plans battery IPO amid electric-car boom

BYD Co., the electric-car maker backed by Warren Buffett, plans to list its battery business by 2022 to raise funds to expand as the global auto industry transitions away from the traditional combustion engine.

Photo: /ritzau/Niels Hougaard/

The listing will occur sometime by the end of 2022 and the company has not decided yet where the shares will be trading, Chairman Wang Chuanfu said in an interview with Bloomberg News Wednesday at its headquarters in Shenzhen. BYD, which makes batteries for automobiles and mobile phones, is in the process of spinning off its vehicle-battery operations into a separate company before listing. It is not clear yet whether the IPO will be for the car-battery business alone, or will also include other units.

Batteries are emerging as a key part of the electric-car revolution that is causing the biggest disruption to the auto industry in more than 100 years. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., or CATL -- the world's biggest battery maker -- has more than tripled in value since raising more than USD 800 million in its Shenzhen IPO in June, as investor cash gravitates toward the industry. BYD and CATL are China's key makers of power packs for electric vehicles and are emerging as challengers to Tesla Inc. suppliers Panasonic Corp. and LG Chem Ltd.

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