Estonian Battery Maker Skeleton Aims to Be Ready for IPO in 2027

(Bloomberg) -- Estonian battery developer Skeleton Technologies is expanding in France as part of a wider strategy to be ready to sell shares on the stock exchange in three years, according to Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Taavi Madiberk.

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The company will invest €600 million ($647 million) to build a graphene-based battery-cell plant and research center near Toulouse, in southern France, he told Bloomberg. The site will start production in 2027 and create as many as 300 jobs, he said.

The aim is to “be IPO-ready in 2027,” Madiberk said. A spokesman said it was too early to say which stock exchange it would pick for the initial public offering.

Europe is seeing a long-awaited listings revival driven by soaring stock markets, with companies in the region raising $12 billion this year, more than twice as much as the same period in 2023. Paris had been particularly quiet, with software company Planisware’s April debut being the first this year, marking a rare sizable European tech IPO.

Skeleton Technologies announced its latest investment to coincide with Emmanuel Macron’s “Choose France” summit on Monday. The annual event launched by the French president in 2018 brings together hundreds of leaders from multinational corporations at the Versailles Palace, outside Paris, in an effort to draw foreign investors to the euro area’s second-biggest economy.

Madiberk said he picked Toulouse ahead of several alternative locations including in Germany and Finland, adding that the choice was partly driven by the government’s efforts to welcome international businesses. He also cited “competitive” subsidies and a reliable supply of nuclear energy.

“France has been aggressive, in a good way, and we really like this,” Madiberk said in an interview. “If we want to compete with China and the US, we need to build pan-European companies.”

Skeleton Technologies’s French site will focus on cells that provide high-power energy storage for industrial applications with up to 15-minute cycles. The company also makes supercapacitors, energy-storage devices that can be charged in a few seconds and recharged almost endlessly.

Talent Pool

Madiberk favored Toulouse over Macron’s battery hub, being developed near Dunkirk, in northern France, due to attractive partnerships with local universities that provide a strong talent pool, he said.

The investment will be made over five years and include both manufacturing capacities and long-term cooperation with local hubs for research and development, he added.

Skeleton Technologies is also building a new factory near Leipzig, in Germany, and has a plant in Dresden.

--With assistance from Ott Tammik.

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