[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai AutoEver, Hyundai Motor Group’s IT affiliate, said on Nov. 23 that it preparing to float its shares on the country’s main bourse KOSPI.
The company said it has filed for preliminary screening at the Korea Exchange, operator of the main bourse, and hopes to make its stock debut next year. NH Investment & Securities is the lead underwriter for the initial public offering.
Established in 2000, AutoEver provides IT services for Hyundai affiliates, focusing on software development and system integration.
“The IPO is to raise funds for research and development in the ICT sector, as well as strengthen the company’s awareness and secure talented workers,” the firm said.
Industry watchers, however, say the public debut is a move for Hyundai to reduce inter-affiliate trading that has been at the center of criticism by the public and the government.
Last year, it posted sales of 1.15 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) with net profit of 52.1 billion won, while services to affiliates accounted for 90 percent of its total revenue.
Hyundai Motor holds 29 percent stake in AutoEver, while 19.5 percent is owned by the group’s heir apparent and Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun. Both Hyundai’s sister carmaker Kia Motors and auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis have 19.3 percent stake each.
The stock debut is expected to bring down Chung’s stake in AutoEver significantly. While his stake in the firm meets the proposed revision to the country’s fair trade law that prohibits owner families from having more than 20 percent stake in an affiliate, the move is expected to prevent further scrutiny in the future.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)