Doosan Bobcat Said to Gauge Korea IPO Demand in Early September

(Bloomberg) -- Doosan Bobcat Inc., an arm of South Korea’s biggest construction equipment maker, plans to start gauging demand in early September for a domestic initial public offering that could raise at least $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The manufacturer of excavators and loaders aims to begin testing investor interest as soon as Sept. 8, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The Korea Exchange said last week it approved Doosan Bobcat’s share sale.

Doosan Bobcat, which is seeking to expand in emerging markets including China and Southeast Asia, joins Samsung Biologics Co. in braving an IPO market with the second-worst performance among major Asian bourses. The offering will add to the $1.5 billion raised from first-time share sales in South Korea this year, down from $1.9 billion during the same period in 2015, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Terms of the IPO haven’t been finalized and could change, according to the people. A representative for Doosan Bobcat declined to comment. 

Doosan Bobcat hired Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Hanwha Investment & Securities Co., Shinyoung Securities Co. and Korea Investment & Securities Co. to arrange the IPO, the Korean bourse said in an e-mailed statement in March.

Doosan Infracore Co. bought Ingersoll-Rand Co.’s Bobcat business and other equipment units in 2007 for $4.9 billion, the biggest overseas deal by a South Korean company. Doosan Bobcat reported record sales of 4.04 trillion won last year, of which North America accounted for about 70 percent and Europe 25 percent.

The company is preparing an IPO after South Korean policy makers revised listing rules late last year. The regulator eased documentation requirements for Korean companies with businesses abroad, making it easier for firms like Doosan Bobcat that have many overseas units.