Geely premium EV brand Zeekr is exploring IPO options, sources say

This article was originally published https://www.autoblog.com/2022/08/25/geely-zeekr-ipo/.

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Zeekr Intelligent Technology Ltd. is considering an initial public offering and has asked investment banks for proposals, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.-backed company is exploring listing venues including the U.S. and Hong Kong and hasn’t decided on the IPO size, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private.

The EV maker is the latest firm backed by billionaire Li Shufu looking to tap the growing investor appetite for the sector. Geely is considering a Hong Kong IPO for its ride-hailing firm Cao Cao Mobility as soon as next year, Bloomberg News reported last week.

The timeline for a potential listing hasn’t been set, and Zeekr could opt to raise another round of funding first, the people said. L Catterton Asia, the regional arm of the consumer-focused private equity firm, has expressed interest in participating in any future fundraising, they said.

The EV brand raised $500 million in its first external funding round led by Intel Capital last year, valuing it at about $9 billion. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s biggest EV battery maker, online entertainment group Bilibili Inc. and private equity firm Boyu Capital also participated.

Zeekr has no plan for a new funding round and declined to comment on its IPO plans, a representative for Geely said in response to a Bloomberg News query. L Catterton declined to comment.

ECARX Holdings Inc., the automotive tech firm backed by Li, in May agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check company COVA Acquisition Corp. in what could be the largest Chinese listing in the US since Didi Global Inc. The deal values the combined company at about $3.8 billion.

Founded in 2021, Zeekr positions itself as a premium EV brand that targets younger, trendier customers in China. It has sold about 20,000 cars since October. The EV maker plans to introduce six different models within five years, aiming for annual sales of 650,000 units by 2025. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. has an indirect stake in the EV brand.

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