Shanghai-based electric vehicle startup NIO has begun preparations for a planned US stock market listing this year, a deal which could be worth up to US$2 billion, according to Reuters.
NIO, formerly known as NextEV, has hired eight banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to arrange the initial public offering, the report said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
The listing plan comes as the firm is seeking fresh capital to finance its expansion and investments in areas such as autonomous driving and battery technologies, the report said.
At the top end of the potential offering size of US$1 billion to US$2 billion, the IPO would become the biggest Chinese listing in America since the US$25 billion public float of Alibaba Group in 2014, Reuters said.
NIO, which was founded by Chinese internet entrepreneur William Li in 2014, is among the first of a raft of Chinese electric vehicle firms to launch a production vehicle, with many so far only showing concept cars.
The company launched sales of its first mass production car – the ES8 pure-electric, seven-seat sport-utility vehicle in December, at about half the price of American peer Tesla’s Model X.
The Chinese firm has also vowed to bring an autonomous electric car to the US market by 2020.
NIO counts Chinese internet giant Tencent as its main backer alongside investment firms Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital.
Last November, the company raised more than US$1 billion in a fundraising round led by Tencent. At that time, the firm was valued at about US$5 billion, according to the report.
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