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Geely’s Zeekr plans biggest US IPO by Chinese firm, seeks $368 million


Zeekr Intelligent Technology Holding Ltd., the high-end electric car brand under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., is seeking to raise as much as $367.5 million in a US initial public offering.

Visitors look at a Zeekr Mix car during the China Auto Show in Beijing, China, Friday, April 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

The EV maker said in a filing Friday that it plans to market 17.5 million American depositary shares for $18 to $21 apiece in what will be the biggest US offering by a China-based firm since 2021. Each ADS will represent 10 of the company’s ordinary shares.

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Zeekr would have a market value of about $5.1 billion at the top of that range based on its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Geely Auto, Mobileye Global Inc. and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. are interested in subscribing for as much as $349 million worth of shares in the offering, Zeekr said in its filings.

Zeekr’s plans add to a stream of IPOs that have put listings on pace for the best year since 2021, when offerings set an all-time record. The $15.7 billion raised in 72 IPOs on US exchanges since Jan. 1 is now almost double the total at this point last year, with half of 2023’s volume coming from the blockbuster offering by Johnson & Johnson spinoff Kenvue Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Small, Rare

US listings by Chinese companies have been small and rare in the years since a crackdown following the $4.4 billion offering by ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc., which delisted from the New York Stock Exchange less than a year after its 2021 IPO. Zeekr’s IPO would be the biggest by a China-based firm in the US since LianBio’s $374 million listing, including over-allotment shares, later that year, the data show.

Although Chinese regulators have since eased curbs on overseas listings so long as the companies are compliant with the rules, no issuer based in the country raised more than $200 million last year in the US, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In February, Geely took automaker Lotus Technology Inc. public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. That followed Geely’s Polestar Automotive Holding going public in a SPAC deal in 2022, after Geely listed its Volvo Car AB in Stockholm the previous year.

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Revenue Gain

Last year, Zeekr had a net loss of $1.17 billion on about $7.3 billion in revenue, with the latter increasing more than 60% from 2022, according to its filings.

The Zeekr lineup includes the 001, a five-seat crossover and the X, a compact sport utility vehicle. The brand has also launched the 007, a premium sedan.

The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and China International Capital Corp. The company plans for its shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ZK.

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