Chinese electric car maker aims to raise up to $950m in growth push

Electric vehicle maker Li Auto’s US listing will provide the latest gauge of American investor demand for Chinese companies going public. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 July 2020

Chinese electric car maker aims to raise up to $950m in growth push

  • Li Auto creates sparks with major US listing amid claims rival Xpeng also plans to go public in New York

HONG KONG: Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto Inc, backed by food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, has launched an initial public offering of up to $950 million, in one of the biggest US listings by Chinese companies this year.

The five-year-old automaker, formerly known as CHJ Automotive, is selling 95 million American depositary shares (ADDS) at an indicative range of $8 to $10 per share, according to its updated prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

Each ADS represents two Class A ordinary shares.

Private equity firm Hillhouse Capital plans to invest $300 million in the float, the company said in the filing.

The IPO is the latest gauge of US investor demand for Chinese companies going public.

For Li Auto and some other companies, prestige and listed comparables continue to propel them toward a US listing in spite of escalating Sino-US geopolitical tension and negative sentiment toward Chinese firms following widespread fallout from Luckin Coffee.

Li Auto’s rival, Xpeng, plans to go public in New York later this year, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

At $950 million, Li Auto’s IPO would surpass the $510 million float by cloud service provider Kingsoft Cloud, the biggest US listing by a Chinese firm this year.

Alongside the IPO, Li Auto will also raise $380 million from a concurrent private placement of shares to investors including Meituan Dianping via its British Virgin Islands-incorporated unit, and TikTok owner ByteDance via a Hong Kong unit.

The automaker plans to use most of the proceeds raised for capital expenditures, and research and development of new products. It is building Li ONE extended-range electric sport-utility vehicles in China.

It is set to price the float on July 30 and begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “Li” the next day.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and CICC are among underwriters for the IPO.


Emirates stops flights to three major Australian cities

Updated 16 January 2021

Emirates stops flights to three major Australian cities

  • Flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice: Emirates
  • The airline will still run two flights a week to Perth

DUBAI: Emirates has suspended flights to Australia's three largest cities as the country further restricts international arrivals over fears of new virus strains.
The Dubai-based carrier was one of the last to maintain routes into and out of the country's east coast throughout most of the pandemic but on Friday evening told travellers a handful of planned flights next week would be the last.
"Due to operational reasons, Emirates flights to/from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will be suspended until further notice," Emirates said on its website.
The airline will still run two flights a week to Perth, but the cuts are another barrier for tens of thousands of stranded Australians still attempting to return home.
The Australian government responded by announcing more repatriation flights and said other carriers still flying services to the cities could fill the gap.
"The capacity that Emirates was able to use within the cap will be allocated to other airlines, ensuring that there are still as many tickets, as many seats available into Australia," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said.
A small number of airlines - including Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines - are still running services to Australia but local media were already reporting delays and cancellations among returning travellers.
Australia's borders have effectively been closed since March to curb the spread of the virus, with the government even limiting the number of citizens allowed to return.
Last week travel restrictions were further tightened, with arrival numbers slashed and all travellers into the country requiring a negative Covid-19 test before flying.
In making the changes, Prime Minister Scott Morrison cited a growing number of people in quarantine testing positive for new strains of Covid-19.
Fears that a variant of the virus from Britain, believed to be more contagious, had leaked into Brisbane from hotel quarantine triggered a snap lockdown in the city last week.
"There are many unknowns and uncertainties in relation to the new strain, and so that's why this precautionary approach, we believe, is very sensible," Morrison said.
Australia continues to deal relatively well with the virus, having recorded about 28,600 cases and 909 deaths linked to Covid-19 in a population of 25 million.