Zeekr Restarts Its US IPO

Some media reports that Chinese car manufacturer Geely’s high-end electric vehicle brand Zeekr has restarted its plan to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in New York to raise up to $500 million. It is reported that the fundraising scale is lower than the previously set target of over $1 billion. In a statement responding to the media, Zeekr stated that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is preparing for it.

Public information shows that Zeekr is a new intelligent battery electric vehicle brand under Geely, which was launched on April 15, 2021. It was jointly invested and established by Geely Auto and Geely Holding, with Li Shufu serving as the chairman of the company. As early as 2022, Geely Auto has been actively promoting Zeekr’s IPO. In October of that year, Geely disclosed its plan to spin off and list Zeekr. In December of the same year, Geely Auto announced on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong that Zeekr submitted a confidential draft registration statement for potential initial public offering in New York on December 7th local time to the U.S. SEC.

In November 2023, Zeekr submitted an IPO application to the SEC and planned to list on the NYSE under the stock code ZK. However, Zeekr did not subsequently disclose data such as issuance range and scale, causing market speculation. It is speculated that due to weak market sentiment at that time, Zeekr temporarily shelved its US IPO plans for observation of market conditions before making a decision. However, Zeekr’s official website responded that various preparations for the company’s listing were progressing in an orderly manner. In December of the same year, informed sources revealed that Zeekr may plan to conduct an IPO in the United States in February 2024.

On March 21st of this year, Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd. once again issued the latest announcement regarding the spin-off listing of Zeekr. The announcement shows that Zeekr submitted an updated version of Registration Statement No. 3 to the SEC on March 20, 2024 (New York time).

It is not difficult to find that Zeekr has been continuously evaluating the market environment and investors’ needs, seeking suitable opportunities for listing. Regarding whether Chinese new energy vehicles can perform well in the US stock market, some analysts believe that while American investors recognize the huge potential and growth prospects of the Chinese new energy vehicle market, they are also concerned about whether companies can continue to maintain growth momentum without subsidies as subsidy policies gradually decline. In addition, as William Li, CEO of NIO pointed out in an interview with foreign media last year, there is unfair treatment of Chinese electric vehicles in the United States including high tariffs and restrictive measures which affect the development of Chinese new energy vehicles in America. Therefore, trade barriers are also one of the factors affecting how American investors view Chinese new energy vehicle brands.

Public information shows that currently, Zeekr has four models on sale: Zeekr 001, Zeekr 009, Zeekr X, and Zeekr 007, covering multiple niche markets.

In terms of sales, according to the Kapbook disclosed data in the prospectus, as of the end of 2023, the company has delivered a total of 196633 vehicles, with an annual delivery volume reaching 118685 vehicles. According to the company’s latest announcement, 13012 new cars were delivered in March this year, a year-on-year increase of 95%, and the delivery volume from January to March increased by 117% year-on-year. According to the plan, Zeekr’s sales target for 2024 is set at 230000 vehicles, which is twice that of the delivery volume in 2023.

Despite the good sales performance, Zeekr is in a loss-making state like most new carmakers. According to Kapbook, from 2021 to the first half of 2023, Zeekr’s net profits were -45.14 billion yuan, -76.55 billion yuan and -38.71 billion yuan respectively.

SEE ALSO: Zeekr Ready for NYSE, Valuation exceeds $13 billion

In February 2023, Zeekr announced the completion of a $750 million round A financing with a post-investment valuation of $13 billion. It is reported that this round of financing was participated by Amnon Shashua, founder and CEO of Mobileye, CATL, Yuexiu Industrial Fund, Tongshang Fund, Quzhou Xinan Intelligent Manufacturing Fund.

Regarding the loss, the company also stated that it will achieve the goal of turning losses into profits by introducing new car models, expanding overseas markets, exporting high-value products. It aims to increase sales volume and gross profit under the premise of striving for a turnaround. It is worth mentioning that currently Zeekr is actively promoting globalization. By 2024, Zeekr will expand its coverage in the European market to six countries, further entering eight countries by 2025, and achieving coverage of most core countries in Western Europe by 2026.