China EV Maker Leapmotor Aims to Raise Up to $1 Billion in IPO

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(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric vehicle maker Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co. is looking to raise up to HK$8.1 billion ($1 billion) in an initial share sale in Hong Kong.

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Leapmotor, founded in 2015, is offering about 131 million shares at a price of between HK$48 and HK$62 each, with the listing scheduled for September 29, according to the prospectus on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s website . Five core investors, including Zhejiang Industrial Fund and Jinhua Industrial Fund, agreed to buy about $308.5 million in shares, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.

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The offering should give an indication of investor appetite for an industry seen as largely unscathed by the scrutiny from Chinese regulators that has hampered the country’s broader technology sector. Electric vehicle manufacturers are seen as an important component of the country’s push toward electrification and clean energy.

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The IPO follows so-called “homecoming” deals by Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng Inc. and Nio Inc. which have been listed in the United States since last year amid an ongoing dispute between the two nations’ regulators. Other Chinese EV companies considering Hong Kong listings include Zeekr Intelligent Technology Ltd. and Hozon New Energy Automobile Co.

Leapmotor plans to use the money for business expansion and promoting brand awareness, according to the terms of the deal. Its main focus is on the mid-range and high-end electric vehicle market, with a price range of 150,000-300,000 yuan ($21,400-42,800), a segment expected to show the fastest growth in 2023 , according to the offering prospectus, citing Frost. & Sullivan.

China International Capital Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CCB International Holdings are joint sponsors of Leapmotor’s IPO.

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