Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto set to raise $1.1b in US IPO

FILE PHOTO: An electric vehicle charging station is seen at the Volkswagen display during media day at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto Inc is set to raise $1.1 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) in New York after selling shares to investors for more than it expected, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Li Auto priced 95 million shares at $11.5 per share, the sources said. The company initially aimed to sell these shares at between $8 and $10 per share.

The sources requested anonymity ahead of an official announcement. Li Auto did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Li Auto‘s IPO in New York comes as U.S.-listed Chinese companies are facing tightened scrutiny and more strict audit requirements from U.S. regulators, while geopolitical tensions escalate between the world’s two largest economies.

Sentiment towards Chinese firms among U.S. investors has also been hit by the fallout from Luckin Coffee Inc, a Chinese coffee chain, which was listed on Nasdaq and earlier this year disclosed that some of its employees fabricated sales accounts.

The IPO values Li Auto at around $10 billion. Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital agreed to invest $300 million in the company as part of the IPO, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The five-year-old automaker, formerly known as CHJ Automotive, is following its Chinese peer NIO Inc, which went public in New York in 2018. NIO’s share price has more than tripled so far this year.

Li said in its IPO prospectus it would use most of the proceeds raised for capital expenditures, and research and development of new products. It is building Li ONE extended-range electric sport-utility vehicles in China.

The company’s shares are due to start trading on Nasdaq under the symbol “Li” on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC were among the underwriters for the IPO.

Reuters 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.