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Chinese EV maker Zeekr to test waters for $1B IPO

Zeekr electric vehicles. Photo: Courtesy of Geely.

Zeekr, the EV brand from Chinese auto giant Geely, plans to meet with investors in the coming weeks to test the appetite for a $1 billion IPO, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The Chinese EV industry has boomed in recent years, but as their domestic market gets saturated they're looking abroad for more customers.

Details: Zeekr is seeking a $13 billion valuation for the deal, which is the same valuation it had in February when it raised $750 million from private investors including Mobileye founder and CEO Amnon Shashua, Guangzhou city's investment arm, and Chinese battery maker CATL.

  • Hangzhou-based Zeekr confidentially filed for an IPO last December, according to Geely, but didn't provide more details.
  • If Zeekr lists, it would be the largest listing by a Chinese company in two years, since Didi raised $4.4 billion in 2021.
  • Zeekr makes higher-end EVs, and Geely has said it plans to sell cars beyond China in the Netherlands, Sweden and Israel.

Big picture: China is the world's largest electric vehicle market with 60% of global EV sales, led by Chinese brands BYD and Geely, but also Tesla.

  • Global brands are trying to break into the Chinese EV market. Italian automaker Stellantis is reportedly exploring options to partner with Chinese EV maker Zhejiang Leapmoto.
  • But Chinese EV makers are also looking to expand globally. In Europe, Chinese EVs are on track to hit 20% of EV sales by 2025, led by models like Great Wall Motor's new budget EV called the Ora Funky Cat.
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