Li_DanLi_Dan ・ May. 10, 2024
Geely's EV Maker Zeekr Said to Debut with Biggest Chinese US IPO since 2021
Based on the reported offer price, Zeekr will sell 17.5 million American depositary shares to raise $441 million, and command a market value of $5.1 billion.

 TMTPost -- China’s electric vehicle (EV) startup Zhejiang Zeekr Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. is set to make the largest Chinese issuance on Ameircan bourses in more than two years.

Credit:Zeekr

Credit:Zeekr

Zeekr, a premium EV brand owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. (Geely), priced its initial public offering (IPO) at US$21.00, the top of a marketed range of US$18.00 to US$21.00 it released last Friday, Reuters and Bloomberg reported Thursday. Based on the reported offer price, Zeekr will sell 17.5 million American depositary shares (ADSs) to raise US$441 million when it starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ZK on Friday. The deal will become the biggest U.S. offering by a China-based company since LianBio’s US$374 million listing in November 2021.

A number of Zeekr’s existing shareholders and third-party investors have indicated their interest in subscribing for an aggregate of up to US$349.08 million of the ADSs being offered in this offering, including up to US$320.0 million from Geely’s subsidiary Geely Auto, approximately US$10.0 million from Mobileye Global Inc., an Israeli autonomous driving company, and approximately US$19.08 million from the world’s top automobile battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), Zeekr said at a filling with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last Friday. Geely will have more than 50% of the company’s voting power when the listing completes.

At the top of the proposed range, Zeekr would command a market value of US$5.1 billion on a non-diluted basis. The valuation is about 61% lower than a year ago. In February 2023, Zeekr raised US750 million from five investors including Intel Corp.-backed Mobileye Global in a funding round that valued it at US$13 billion. Zeekr was reported last November to shelf its listing due to a mismatch in valuation expectations. Reuters reported that month that the EV brand has aimed to maintain the valuation through that funding round, but some of potential investors it talked with since late August put a valuation on it below the IPO figure.

Whether Zeekr had downgraded its expectation of IPO size or not, its renewed listing did see strong demand. Zeekr was said to close its bookbuilding on Wednesday, a day earlier than its schedule after its IPO was multiple times oversubscribed. A successful flotation is poised to give Zeekr the firepower to shore up its sales amid the intense EV competition. The Ningbo-based company has said it plans to use the proceeds from the offering to develop more advanced battery electric vehicle technologies. Funds will also be used for selling and marketing purposes, such as growing its charging, along with general corporate needs.

Founded in March 2021, Zeekr has developed into one of leading Chinese EV startups these years. In October 2022, it delivered 10,119 units of Zeekr 001 to the market, making it the first pure-electric premium vehicle model manufactured by a Chinese battery electric vehicle (BEV) brand with over 10,000 units of single-month delivery volume, according to Frost & Sullivan. As of December 31, 2023, it delivered a total of 196,633 vehicles since its first vehicle delivery in October 2021, including 192,441 delivered in China. This is among the fastest delivery growth in the premium BEV market in China, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Zeekr said it delivered 16,089 units in April, refreshing its monthly record. The delivery almost doubled with a 99% year-over year (YoY) growth, and rose 24% month-over-month (MoM).Delivery for the first four months of this year jumped 111% YoY to 49,000 units, compared with a 117% YoY increase in the first quarter. The company set a sales target of 230,000 vehicles this year, which requires it step up sales since it would have delivered 147,000 vehicles this year based on the average monthly delivery year to date.

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