The goal is to raise over $1 billion and a valuation of more than $10 billion.
Two-time Guinness World Record holder - for the fastest drift by an electric car and the fastest electric car slalom run - electric vehicle automaker Zeekr has reportedly confidentially filed for a US initial public offering with the goal of raising over $1 billion, according to Reuters. Representatives from the carmaker have yet to officially confirm the news.
Zeekr is an upscale brand owned by Geely and, if the plan proceeds, will become the first major Chinese carmaker to issue an IPO in the US in more than a year and a half. Sources claim Zeekr is currently seeking a valuation of over $10 billion. Last year, it was valued at around $9 billion for its first round of external fundraising.
Presently, Zeekr has plans to sell just a single electric shooting brake, called the 001, in Europe beginning sometime next year and will compete directly against the Tesla Model Y in that market. The report does not provide a timeline regarding a possible US launch, but the IPO is certainly the first step in making that happen.
The timing of the IPO comes only a few months after the US and China signed a major auditing deal that greatly reduces the threat of delisting of over 200 New York-listed Chinese companies. Zeekr filed with US regulators last week and could possibly go public as early as the second quarter of next year. But why the confidential filing? Because this type of filing allows companies to avoid releasing details for a longer period of time and provides some flexibility regarding the IPO's timeline.
In short, Zeekr can prevent rivals from knowing specifics up until the IPO. The Hong Kong stock exchange was considered by Zeekr for its listing but ultimately went with New York because it believes that's where it can get a higher valuation.
Geely previously indicated plans to spin off Zeekr, and it too remains quiet on the subject for now. Zeekr's IPO plans in the US will be watched very carefully, not only by American carmakers but also by their Chinese competitors. To date, only five Chinese companies have completed IPOs this year. They raised a total of just $162.5 million, which may sound like a lot, but it isn't very reassuring compared to the $12.8 billion raised in 2021.
The Zeekr brand is actually very new, established by Geely last year as a way to further boost its presence in the premium EV Chinese market, which also includes Volvo and Polestar, both owned by Geely as well.
It's already seen strong take-up from corporate entities, however, as its record-setting efforts attracted the likes of Google, which will be adding the Zeekr 001 to its autonomous taxi fleet.