Geely’s Zeekr edges closer to IPO in US
EV maker’s shares could start being traded publicly within weeks of the announcement
Shanghai — Zeekr, Chinese carmaker Geely’s premium electric car brand, plans to make public a filing to list its shares in New York this week, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, seeking to ride growing enthusiasm for electric vehicles (EVs) despite strained
The move will see the EV brand publish its prospectus and its shares could start being traded publicly on the bourse within weeks of the announcement, the sources said.
Both sources declined to be named discussing confidential information.
The underwriters are led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, one source said, adding a size and a price of the float will be decided later.
Zeekr and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Goldman Sachs did not respond to a request for comment.
Zeekr confidentially filed for a US initial public offering last December, aiming to raise more than $1bn, Reuters has reported.
However the company is likely to raise less than the targeted amount from the IPO, one of the sources said.
A confidential filing allows companies to keep details from rivals longer and gives them added flexibility particularly when a timeline for an IPO is not fixed.
The IPO could mark the first major float by a Chinese company in the US in two years since Beijing tightened its grip on overseas share sales in 2021 — a shift triggered by a cybersecurity probe into ride-hailing giant Didi Global on the heels of its US stock market debut.
In February, Zeekr raised $750m in a funding round that values the brand at $13bn from investors including Amnon Shashua, CEO of autonomous driving technology company Mobileye Global — majority owned by Intel Corp — and Chinese battery giant CATL.
A price war started by Tesla in China at the beginning of 2023 is hitting the profitability of pure EV makers, which have stepped up efforts to prune costs and build partnerships to survive the consolidating competition.
However, Zeekr, which is able to use Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s manufacturing facilities and cost-saving capabilities, has seen its profitability improve.
Its CEO Andy An told reporters in August that Zeekr achieved a double-digit gross profit in the first half of 2023, compared to a 5% gross profit in 2022.
Zeekr, established in 2021, ranked 13th in EV sales in China among all brands with 79,028 units of EVs sold in the first nine months, more than double that in the same period in 2022.
It offers four EV models in China, with its 001 hatchback priced from 269,000 yuan ($36,927.22) as its best-selling EV.
Zeekr has also announced plans to sell into overseas markets including the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan among others.
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