'Japan's Tesla' on track for IPO

posted on February 13, 2016

A tiny Kyoto start-up, which began with twice as many interns as staff and still relies on borrowed factory space, is on course to become the first Japanese carmaker to go public for almost 30 years.

Yet the road in Japan is a harder slog: even in the supposedly thrusting era of Abenomics, says GLM's chief financial officer Sota Nagano, conditions strongly favour the industrial giants over the young contenders. "The risk appetite for this asset class is not exactly high," he says. "The liquidity available for a company like this is a 10th of what would be available in the US."

While 2015 was a historically strong year for Japanese initial public offerings with 95 completed, not a single new company listed in January this year and only five are scheduled to do so over the next month.

GLM's trio of founders, all in their early thirties, are hopeful - market conditions permitting - of launching an IPO within the year.

The company, which depends on other Kyoto innovators for most of its key components, expects to produce about 1,000 cars over the next four years.

source by ft
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