China’s Zeekr renews plans to raise up to $500 million in U.S. IPO, sources say

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Zeekr, the premium electric vehicle (EV) brand of Chinese automaker Geely, has restarted stalled plans to raise up to $500 million in a New York initial public offering (IPO), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The company in November put listing plans to raise about $500 million on hold because of a mismatch in valuation expectations between investors and the company, Reuters reported then citing sources.

The deal was put on ice also due to volatile global financial market conditions at the time, as per the report.

Zeekr is now holding a non-deal roadshow with potential investors ahead of the IPO, the two sources told Reuters.

The sources could not be named discussing confidential information

“The company has made a public filing to the SEC and is proceeding with the preparatory work,” Zeekr said in a statement Wednesday in response to Reuters questions. The company filed its prospectus in November with U.S. regulators.

There were six IPOs of Chinese companies that raised $46.9 million in the U.S during the first quarter of 2024, down from $428 million at the same time last year, according to Dealogic data. It was the quietest first quarter since the start of 2017, the data showed.

The size of Zeekr’s potential IPO of up to $500 million is down from the company’s previously held targets of more than $1 billion.

Zeekr is aiming to deliver 230,000 cars in 2024, which is double its 2023 deliveries, a company spokesperson said in early January.

The firm was formed in 2021 by Geely, formally known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, to tap growing Chinese demand for premium EVs.

It raised $750 million from investors in February last year including Amnon Shashua, the CEO of autonomous driving technology company Mobileye Global, and Chinese battery giant CATL that valued the brand at $13 billion.

Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Editing by Michael Perry