Geely auto moves closer to potential $2.9 billion China listing

Geely plans to use the money to help develop new technologies and vehicle models, as well as finance mergers and acquisitions and replenish working ca
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File photo - A building of the Geely Auto Research Institute is seen in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. (REUTERS)
File photo - A building of the Geely Auto Research Institute is seen in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., the Chinese carmaker controlled by Volvo Cars owner Li Shufu, may raise as much as 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) via a listing on Shanghai’s Star board.

The debut would represent the first for any automaker on the bourse, a forum for high-tech and innovative companies that started last year.

Hangzhou-based Geely, which is already listed in Hong Kong, plans to use the money to help develop new technologies and vehicle models, as well as finance mergers and acquisitions and replenish working capital, according to a sales document filed Tuesday.

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Car manufacturers around the world are weathering an industry slump caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Geely last month reported a 43% drop in first-half profit after the pandemic shuttered factories and decimated demand. With the outbreak receding in China, sales have started to revive and automakers are betting the world’s largest market can help them return to growth.

Also Read : First-half profit of China's Geely, owners of Volvo, drops 43% on Covid-19 hit

Citigroup Inc. raised its target price for Geely by 20% to HK$20 after the company flagged a Shanghai listing in June. The share sale should boost Geely’s market value in Hong Kong ahead of a potential merger with Volvo Cars, analysts said.

In February, Geely’s parent company announced plans to merge Geely Automobile with its Swedish affiliate, a move that could pave the way for the creation of China’s first global automaker. The deal would unify the bulk of billionaire Li’s growing stable of automotive brands and create a company with annual revenue of more than $40 billion.

Also Read : China's Geely, owners of Volvo, seeks launchpad to enter auto giant orbit

Li, who also is also Daimler AG’s largest shareholder, has championed consolidation as a way for automakers to pool resources for initiatives like self-driving cars and electrification. He’s built a global carmaking empire over the past two decades, securing stakes in European legacy brands such as Lotus as well as investing in Malaysian auto company Proton.

Geely closed 4.4% higher in Hong Kong, extending gains this year to 12%.

China International Capital Corp. and Huatai United Securities Co. are the lead underwriters on the Shanghai deal.

First Published Date: 02 Sep 2020, 15:04 PM IST
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