By John Revill
ZURICH (Reuters) -ABB has raised around 200 million Swiss francs ($209 million) from selling an 8% stake in its electric vehicle (EV) charging business, as the Swiss engineering and technology company drums up interest in a unit it hopes to float next year.
The private placement of shares was led by investors with links to Swedish furniture giant IKEA and car dealership chain AMAG and gives the E-mobility business an equity value of 2.4 billion to 2.5 billion francs.
Investors expect a surge in demand for EV charging points as European regulations push automakers and drivers alike to make the switch from fossil-fuelled cars.
The placement is a positive sign for ABB after the company earlier this year delayed a planned flotation of E-mobility, citing stock market turbulence.
The Swiss group, which will retain 92% of E-mobility, has indicated it now plans to carry out the flotation in the second half of 2023.
Proceeds from the stake sale will be used by E-mobility to grow organically and make acquisitions in hardware and software, ABB said.
The new investors include Interogo Holding, as well as moyreal holding, a Swiss family office, and E-mobility chairman Michael Halbherr.
Interogo, an international investment group based in Switzerland, is owned by Interogo Foundation, the ultimate owner of Inter IKEA Group, the group of companies that connects franchisees of the Swedish furniture company. Moyreal is the investment vehicle of AMAG car dealership heiress Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner.
ABB did not give the breakdown of the individual stakes given in return for the investment.
"We remain committed to our strategy to separately list our E-mobility business subject to constructive marketconditions," ABB CEO Bjorn Rosengren said in a statement.
"The private placement underpins our joint commitment to ensure ABB E-mobility’s fast growth in order to remain best positioned to lead the sector in EV charging solutions."
($1 = 0.9570 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by John Revill;Editing by Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)