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Vietnamese EV maker VinFast debuts on Nasdaq

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Aug 15, 2023

VinFast's North Carolina manufacturing plant. Photo: Courtesy of VinFast.

Shares in Vietnamese electric vehicle company VinFast debuted on the Nasdaq this morning, following the completion of its SPAC.

Why it matters: The public markets have been challenging for unprofitable electric vehicle players taking the SPAC route — all eyes are on this listing and whether it can stay above the wreckage.

Of note: VinFast originated from Vietnam's largest conglomerate, Vingroup, which was founded and is run by the country's richest man.

Driving the news: Shares in six-year-old VinFast rose in premarket trading this morning after merging with Hong Kong-based Black Spade Acquisition, a deal that valued the company at $23 billion.

  • The company's shares were trading around $22 Tuesday morning.
  • Less than 1% of its shares were floated from the Nasdaq listing, according to VinFast Chief Financial Officer, David Mansfield.
  • Investors in Black Spade Acquisition cashed out over 80% of their shares after the deal with VinFast, leaving only about $14 million in the company's trust, Reuters reported.

Zoom in: VinFast started building an EV plant in North Carolina in late July with a planned production capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year.

  • The company isn't profitable and reported a first quarter revenue drop of 49% from the previous year along with a net loss of $598 million. For the full year 2022, the company posted a loss of $2.1 billion.
  • The company says it's sold 18,700 EVs globally and has another 26,000 reservations.

Big picture: The valuations of electric vehicle makers that have gone public via SPAC have plummeted, including Nikola, Canoo, Fisker, Workhorse, Lucid, Faraday Future and Lion Electric.

  • Proterra, Electric Last Mile Solution, and Lordstown all filed for bankruptcy in recent months after seeing their shares tank following SPAC mergers.

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to show that less than 1% of the company's shares were floated. An earlier version cited 4%.

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