(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric-vehicle maker Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co. is looking to raise as much as HK$8.1 billion ($1 billion) in an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
Leapmotor, founded in 2015, is offering about 131 million shares at between HK$48 and HK$62 apiece, according to the prospectus on the Hong Kong stock exchange website. Five cornerstone investors, including Zhejiang Industrial Fund and Jinhua Industrial Fund, agreed to purchase around $308.5 million of stock, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.
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The offer should give an indication of investor appetite for an industry seen as largely unscathed by the scrutiny of Chinese regulators that has hobbled the nation’s broader technology sector. EV makers are considered an important component of the country’s push toward electrification and clean energy.
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The IPO follows so-called “homecoming” deals by US-listed Chinese EV makers XPeng Inc. and Nio Inc. since last year amid an ongoing dispute between regulators in the two nations. Other Chinese EV firms considering Hong Kong listings include Zeekr Intelligent Technology Ltd. and Hozon New Energy Automobile Co.
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Leapmotor is planning to use the money for business expansion and brand awareness promotion, according to the terms of the deal. Its main focus is on the mid to high-end EV market, with a price range of 150,000 to 300,000 yuan ($21,400-$42,800), a segment that is forecast to show the fastest growth by 2023, according to the offering’s prospectus, citing Frost & Sullivan.
The company plans to price the share sale on Friday with trading slated to start Sept. 29. China International Capital Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CCB International Holdings are joint sponsors of Leapmotor’s IPO.
(Adds pricing date in sixth paragraph.)