May 15, 2019 / 11:08 AM / 7 days ago

IKEA says in final stages of talks to invest in Northvolt

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Swedish furniture giant IKEA is seen before the opening of the company's first store in the heart of Paris, France, May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - IKEA is in the final stages of talks with Northvolt about participating in the battery startup’s fundraising for a factory, the world’s biggest furniture retailer said on Wednesday.

Sweden’s Northvolt is looking to raise 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion), split equally between debt and equity, and has asked the European Investment Bank for a 350 million euro loan.

“This project is very, very interesting and entirely in line with the sustainability investments that we make for the future,” said Daniela Rogosic, spokeswoman at Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide.

“They are still in the final phase of the dialogue,” she said on Wednesday.

IKEA is made up of a number of companies and foundations. Rogosic said the entity in talks to make the investment is Stichting IMAS Foundation, which manages financial assets on behalf of the Stichting INGKA Foundation, which owns Ingka Group.

She declined to give further details.

Northvolt, founded by former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson, is looking to spend 3 billion euros to build Europe’s biggest battery cell plant in Sweden, a project to rival U.S. electric carmaker Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Jason Neely

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