Chinese EV maker Leapmotor raises US$800mil in IPO

  • Auto
  • Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022

Homecoming deal: Electronic boards display various stock prices at Exchange Square in Hong Kong. Hangzhou-based Leapmotor’s offering joins a group of similarly sized listings as larger deals come back to Hong Kong. — AFP

HONG KONG: Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) maker Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co has raised about HK$6.3bil (US$800mil or RM3.66bil) in its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), according to sources.

Leapmotor priced the offering at HK$48 (RM27.98) per share, the bottom of its marketed range, said the sources.

The company marketed 131 million shares at HK$48 (RM27.98) and HK$62 (RM36.14) apiece. An external representative for the company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Hangzhou-based firm’s offering joins a group of similarly sized listings as larger deals come back to Hong Kong, though proceeds raised through IPOs this year are still down nearly 80% from the same period in 2021, Bloomberg data show.

The Asian financial hub’s slump has outpaced the global decline due to factors including the economic impact of China’s zero-Covid policies.

Leapmotor is part of an industry that has largely escaped the scrutiny of Chinese regulators, a development which has hobbled the nation’s broader technology sector and put a damper on share sales overseas.

EV makers are considered an important component of the country’s push toward electrification and clean energy.

The IPO follows so-called “homecoming” deals by US-listed Chinese EV makers Li Auto Inc and XPeng Inc since last year.

The firms raised about US$3.8bil (RM17.4bil) through their Hong Kong listings, after a dispute between regulators in the two nations prompted such companies to seek alternative listings.

Nio Inc, another Chinese EV maker, chose to debut in the Asian hub in March without raising funds.

Leapmotor is planning to use the IPO proceeds for business expansion and brand awareness promotion, according to the prospectus.

Five cornerstone investors, including Zhejiang Industrial Fund and Jinhua Industrial Fund, agreed to purchase around US$308.5mil (RM1.4bil) of stock.

The company’s main focus is on the mid to high-end EV market, with a price range of 150,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan (US$21,146 to US$42,292 or RM96,772 to RM193,545). The segment is forecast to show the fastest growth by 2023, according to the prospectus, citing Frost & Sullivan.

Leapmotor delivered 43,748 vehicles in 2021 and 51,994 in the first half of this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co, China International Capital Corp, Citigroup Inc and CCB International Holdings are joint sponsors of Leapmotor’s IPO.

Shares are slated to start trading on Sept 29. — Bloomberg

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