Vietnam’s electric-vehicle maker VinFast said it had filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States to fund its expansion in the country.
It is aiming to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “VFS”.
The company said it would convert to a Singapore public limited company for the IPO and would be known as VinFast Auto Ltd. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering had not yet been determined, it added.
Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan are leading a nine-bank syndicate behind the deal, according to the company filing. If successful, VinFast will be Vietnam’s first company to list in the United States.
The EV-maker, which began operations in 2019, is gearing up to expand in the US market where it hopes to compete with legacy automakers and startups with its two all-electric SUVs, the VF8 and VF9. It plans to include battery leasing to reduce the purchase price.
The filing follows VinFast’s confidential submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in April, a month after it said it would build a production plant in North Carolina with an initial projected capacity of 150,000 EVs a year.
VinFast has said it has almost 65,000 orders globally and expects to sell 750,000 EVs annually by 2026.
EV startups losing valuation
A unit of Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup, VinFast first flagged its US IPO in April last year, aiming to raise $2 billion with a valuation of about $60 billion.
But the market valuation for EV startups has drastically cooled over the past year after some companies with sky-high valuations faced scrutiny, together with the gloomy global economy.
The S&P US & China Electric Vehicle Index, which measures the performance of companies involved in the EV business, has lost 33.51% since the beginning of the year.
VinFast Chief Executive Le Thi Thu Thuy said on Wednesday the valuation or the size of the company’s IPO “will be subject, in part, to market conditions.” The company’s primary objective was to successfully list VinFast on a US stock exchange, she noted.
“VinFast will continue to monitor opportunities for future fundraises, as the market becomes more familiar with the VinFast brand and story,” Thuy added.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena