Electric car maker BYD raises $3.9 billion in upsized sale

BYD Co., a Chinese electric-vehicle manufacturer backed by Warren Buffett, raised HK$29.9 billion ($3.86 billion) from an upsized sale of its Hong Kong-listed shares, capitalizing on rising demand for new-energy vehicles and a blistering stock rally.

FILE PHOTO: Men clean a BYD electric vehicle (EV) e2 displayed during the media day for Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Men clean a BYD electric vehicle (EV) e2 displayed during the media day for Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China

The company agreed to sell 133 million shares at HK$225 each, representing a discount of 7.8% to Wednesday’s closing price of HK$244, according to a statement. The placed shares represent 14.54% of its enlarged H-share base, the statement showed.

BYD had previously planned to offer 121.1 million shares at HK$222 to HK$228 each, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. Shares in BYD fell as much as 3.3% in early Hong Kong trading on Thursday.

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The offering comes after BYD’s shares have surged more than 400% in the last 12 months in Hong Kong, part of a broader rally in EV maker stocks buoyed by strong investor expectations for the industry’s growth. At $3.9 billion, BYD’s primary share placement is the biggest in Hong Kong since Haitong Securities Co.’s $4.2 billion share sale in 2014.

Also Read : Ideanomics' MEG to buy 2,000 customized BYD EVs for ride-hailing services

BYD is the the latest in a growing line of Chinese EV makers to tap capital markets for funding. Last year, they raised billions of dollars in share sales: Chinese rival Xpeng Inc. sold $2.5 billion worth of new stock, while Nio Inc. fetched $3.1 billion in December. Xpeng also signed an agreement with banks for a $2 billion line of credit earlier this year.

Electric-car demand is increasing in China, benefiting industry leader Tesla Inc. as well as its local contenders such as Nio and Xpeng that focus on their domestic market. New energy vehicle retail sales rose 9.8% in 2020 to 1.11 million units, with a 58% year-on-year jump in December to 206,000 units.

Shenzhen-based BYD plans to use the cash to replenish its working capital, repay interest-bearing debt, and invest in research and development, according to the filing. It said in December it planned to issue no more than 20% of its total H shares outstanding.

UBS Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and China International Capital Corp. are joint global coordinators on the deal. Citic Securities Co. is lead manager.

First Published Date: 21 Jan 2021, 09:38 AM IST
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