Chinese EV Brand Zeekr Seeks $10 Billion Valuation With Silent Listing

Investors looking for exposure to large-cap electric vehicle (EV) brands will soon have another chance to jump on the battery-powered bandwagon. 

Chinese EV maker Zeekr is reportedly planning an initial public offering (IPO) in 2023, seeking to raise more than $1 billion through the deal. Considering the brand’s valuation stood at $9 billion after its first external fundraising round last year, the IPO could see its valuation top $10 billion.

According to Reuters reports, which broke the news on December 12, Zeekr confidentially filed for the listing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. It is planning to go to market as soon as the second quarter of 2023, anonymous sources told the news agency. 

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), though details of the pricing and the total number of units remain unknown at this point. Companies may opt for confidential filings to deny competitors details of the deal and to give management more room to maneuver with IPO’s timeline.

Zeekr is owned by Chinese automotive titan Geely. The Zhejiang-based automaker is one of the largest in China and is the majority owner of Sweden’s Volvo and British sportscar brand Lotus

Besides Zeekr, (reportedly a portmanteau of “Generation Z” and “geek”), Geely has a number of other EV brands under its banner. These include Polestar (Volvo’s EV spin-off), Smart (an equal-stake joint venture with Mercedes Benz), and Lynk & Co (another Volvo venture that sells EVs via a subscription model). 

The proposed IPO coincides with Zeekr’s push to expand beyond its home market. It plans to launch its maiden model – the Zeekr 001 – in Europe next year. While the brand has stated its intentions to enter the U.S. market, it has not yet laid out a plan to sell its vehicles stateside.

Charged Up Potential 

The growth potential for investing in electric vehicles (EVs) is significant. The global EV market is expected to expand rapidly in the near future as more and more consumers and governments switch to EVs to shrink their carbon footprint and reduce fossil fuel usage. This trend is driven by innovations in battery technology, falling EV costs, and increasing government support and incentives.

Though IPOs have seen a steep decline in 2022, there have been several notable EV offerings in recent months. 

In October, Intel spin-off Mobileye, which makes self-driving tech for EVs, pulled off one of the biggest trading debuts for the year, closing up more than 37% at the end of its first day of trading. 

Meanwhile, Vietnamese EV maker Vinfast filed for an IPO on December 6, which Bloomberg previously estimated could raise $2 billion. 

Then there is Geely’s very own Polestar, which went public in June through a SPAC merger deal that resulted in a valuation of roughly $20 billion.

Even in last year’s IPO frenzy, EVs were making waves. An EV IPO was the biggest launch for 2021, with Rivian raising around $12 billion in its November listing, making it the biggest IPO for an American company since Facebook. 

Yet how EVs, and Zeekr in particular, will fare in 2023 remains to be seen. While its parent company Geely has made successful acquisitions and ventures of automakers abroad, Zeekr itself remains a relatively unknown brand outside China. In sizing up this offering, investors will likely consider whether the brand will find appeal among consumers in Europe and North America and the obstacles it may face in gaining market share there. Macroeconomic conditions and the market mood come mid-2023 will also have a direct influence on Zeekr’s launch. 

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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