Thu, Aug 30, 2018 - Page 10 News List

EV maker seeks valuation above US$8bn in IPO


NIO Inc (蔚來汽車), the Chinese electric-vehicle (EV) maker backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), is planning a US initial public offering (IPO) that would give it a valuation topping US$8 billion as it gears up to take on the likes of Tesla Inc.

The company is aiming to raise as much as US$1.3 billion, offering 160 million American depositary shares at US$6.25 to US$8.25 each, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday in the US.

That would give the company a market capitalization of about US$6.4 billion to US$8.5 billion.

NIO is among Chinese electric-car firms raising money to fund aggressive product development and expansion amid the auto industry’s seismic shift toward alternative-power and autonomous vehicles.

Byton (拜騰), a Nanjing-based company started by former BMW AG executives, in January became the first Chinese automaker to hold a large-scale unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Others like WM Motor Technology Co (威馬汽車) and XPeng Motors (小鵬汽車), backed by funding from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), are also developing new models.

NIO plans to use proceeds from the offering for research and development, sales and marketing, and building manufacturing facilities and the supply chain, the company said in the filing.

Shares are expected to price on Tuesday next week following a roadshow that started yesterday in Hong Kong, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg.

After meeting investors in Hong Kong yesterday and today, NIO management will be in Singapore tomorrow, according to the deal terms. The roadshow is to continue next month in London and the US.

NIO, formerly known as NextEV, began selling its first vehicle, the ES8 sport utility vehicle, in December last year, about three years after the company was founded, and deliveries started on June 28. The vehicle is priced at 448,000 yuan (US$66,000) before subsidies.

As of Tuesday, NIO had delivered more than 1,300 ES8s and had reservations for another 15,700 more, according to the prospectus.

The company plans to begin selling another electric SUV, the ES6, by the end of this year, with initial deliveries in the first half of next year.


In other news, Viomi Technology Co (雲米), a provider of Internet-connected home appliances to Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米), filed for a US initial public offering.

The four-year-old company in a regulatory filing on Tuesday listed the offering size as US$150 million, a placeholder amount that could change.

The company planned to seek US$200 million in a listing, people familiar with the matter previously said.

Xiaomi, which raised US$5.4 billion including the overallotment to underwriters in its Hong Kong IPO in June, is Viomi’s strategic partner, shareholder and “most important customer,” according to the filing.

Viomi, based in Foshan City, also counts Sequoia Capital among its investors.

The firm completed a series A funding round in 2015 from investors including Xiaomi.

Viomi’s dishwashers, air and water purifiers can be controlled via the company’s mobile app. Its smart refrigerator has a speech recognition function that understands commands such as resetting the temperature, picking up phone calls, playing music and requests for recipe recommendations.

Last year, Viomi had a net income of US$14 million on net revenue of about US$132 million, the company said.

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