Chinese EV Startup Leapmotor Moves Ahead With Plans for Overseas IPO
The website of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) showed on Thursday that it has received approval materials for a planned overseas IPO by Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co., Ltd. (Leapmotor). This disclosure by the CSRC confirms rumors that Leapmotor will attempt to go public outside China.
Precisely which capital market Leapmotor will select for the move, however, has not yet been disclosed. Earlier, it was reported that Leapmotor was considering applying for an IPO in Hong Kong, and has made preliminary contact with consulting companies for a listing possibly as early as 2022. Regarding this rumor, the firm did not issue a clear response, saying only that “this news is not the official news of Leapmotor.”
In November 2020, Wu Baojun, co-founder and president of Leapmotor, revealed that the EV brand intended to go public on the Shanghai Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market). “We must strengthen the connection with the capital market like NIO and Li Auto.”
Subsequently, another co-founder Zhu Jiangming stated in an internal letter to the company that Leapmotor aims to become one of the top three new Chinese car-manufacturing forces in 2023, gain a 10% market share of the Chinese new energy vehicle market in 2025, and officially launch an IPO in 2021.
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However, due to the uncertain prospects of listing on the STAR Market, Wu Baojun changed his comments in July 2021, saying that “other listing plans are not ruled out.” One month after making this statement, Leapmotor announced on August 18, 2021, that it had completed a pre-IPO round of financing totaling 4.5 billion yuan ($708 million). This round was led by CICC and followed by Hangzhou State-owned Assets Management and China Capital Management. So far, the company has completed a total of seven rounds of financing, with a disclosed total amount exceeding 12 billion yuan.
On January 22, Leapmotor changed its official industrial and commercial registration information. The firm’s registered capital increased from 908 million yuan to 2.908 billion yuan, an increase of over 220%. This move has also been interpreted by the market as “preparing for listing.”
According to available data, a total of 43,121 Leapmotor vehicles were delivered in 2021, including 38,463 Leapmotor T03s and 4,021 Leapmotor C11s.