ANN/CNA – Zeekr, Chinese automaker Geely’s upmarket electric car brand, has confidentially filed for a United States (US) initial public offering, aiming to raise more than USD1 billion, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
In what would be the first major Chinese float in the US in more than a year and a half, Zeekr is seeking a valuation of more than USD10 billion, two of the sources said.
That compares with a valuation of about USD9 billion in its maiden external fundraising last year.
The plans come as the brand, which competes with Tesla and Chinese peer Nio, sets its sights on marketing its 001 crossover – its first and only model – in Europe next year. In doing so, it joins a growing list of Chinese automakers looking to launch or expand sales of electrical vehicles (EVs) in the region.
Zeekr lodged its filings with US regulators last week and is planning to go public in New York as early as the second quarter of 2023, said two of the sources and a fourth source who also had direct knowledge of the matter.
The sources declined to be identified as the information had not yet been made public.
According to two of the sources, Zeekr also considered Hong Kong as its listing venue but picked New York in the hope of achieving a higher valuation.
Geely, which handles public relations for Zeekr, declined to comment. It said in October it would spin Zeekr off but did not identify a listing venue or the likely value of an offering.
Established by Geely, formally known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, in April 2021 to tap into increasing Chinese demand for premium EVs, Zeekr launched the 001 crossover in China later that year.
A successful IPO would be the first major US float of a Chinese firm since Beijing tightened its grip over Chinese companies’ overseas share sales in July last year – a shift triggered by a cybersecurity probe into ride-hailing giant Didi Global on the heels of its US stock market debut.