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Brisbane battery outfit heads to market with likely $500m value


Li-S Energy is heading towards an initial public offering with the company behind it expecting a valuation of more than $500 million when it hits the ASX before the end of September.

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Li-S is a joint venture between Deakin University and Brisbane commercialisation company PPK. The two have several projects together but Li-S has been the one that has shown significant promise and helped lift PPK’s share price from $3 a year ago to today’s $14.30.

A prospectus is likely to be filed in a week and a roadshow will start next week with Ocean Blue Equities as lead.

The IPO is expected to raise between $35 million and $45 million in new shares, which means existing investors will be sticking with the project.

PPK chief executive Robin Levison said he was anticipating the market capitalisation will be in excess of $500 million. A small fund raising round was done earlier the year which gave Li-S Energy a valuation of $300 million.

LI-S has created a lithium sulphur-battery that is stable and capable of outperforming lithium-ion batteries by a large margin.

Levison said they had proved the battery was two to three times superior. The significant component in the battery was boron nitrate nanotubes or BNNT, a super strong, lightweight material that also had superior heat shielding capacity, but has been difficult to make.

Earlier this year Deakin figured out how to manufacture the BNNT in commercial quantities and cost.

BNNT has been sought after by industry for years and NASA has also shown strong interest in using its heat shielding in its space vehicles.

PPK is not stopping at the battery. Levison said there was also solid research progress being made  in mixing the BNNT with alloys to create a metal that had the capacity to withstand significantly hotter and colder temperatures.

Work was also being done on white graphene, a subset of the BNNT, which could be used to prevent corrosion caused by hydrogen.





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