Geely-Backed ECARX Plans for U.S. Public Listing

Smart vehicle technology company ECARX is considering plans to seek a U.S. public listing via a merger with blank-check company SPAC, according to a Wednesday report by Bloomberg citing individuals with knowledge on the matter.

The Chinese company is working with an advisory firm about the potential for its new combined company that could be valued at about $4 billion, the source said. One of the sources also said that ECARX is considering approaching regulators to approve the deal.

Founded by Geely Group Chairman Li Shufu and associates in 2016, ECARX has set up branches and R&D centers in the cities of Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Dalian and Gothenburg, Sweden. ECARX is committed to continuously building an industry-leading open platform for intelligent connected vehicles, fully empowering car enterprises and creating a smarter and safer travel experience. Geely Auto Group invested $50 million in the company to take a 1.5% stake last September.

The sources also said that in addition to the possible listing of ECARX, Geely Group is also considering a financing round for its commercial vehicle unit that could value it at as much as $4 billion. The round could raise a few hundred million dollars. Geely executives said last November that the group was considering an IPO in three to five years for its commercial vehicle unit.

Discussions on the potential public listing of ECARX and the financing of its commercial vehicle unit are still preliminary, and the details such as valuation may change in the future, the individuals added.

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It is worth noting that Polestar, the electric vehicle manufacturer founded by Volvo and its owner Geely, also plans to go public in the U.S. via a $20 billion merger with SPAC this year. Volvo raised $2.3 billion in an initial public offering in Stockholm last October.