BEIJING, Aug.27 (Reuters) – Geely’s electric vehicle brand Zeekr on Friday announced that it had raised $ 500 million in its first external financing from investors including Intel Capital (INTC.O), the battery maker CATL (300750.SZ) and online entertainment company Bilibili (9626.HK).
Led by chief executive Andy An, who is also the chairman of Geely, Zeekr said the investors would jointly own a 5.6% stake in the company, valuing it at around $ 9 billion. CFO Yuan Jing told reporters that Zeekr currently does not have a clear plan for its IPO.
The company manufactures the Zeekr 001 model in the eastern city of Ningbo and is expected to start delivering them later this year. Its goal is to sell 650,000 vehicles per year by 2025.
Also among the investors were Cathay Fortune Corporation, which invests in mining companies, and private equity firm Boyu Capital which has also signed long-term investment partnerships with Zeekr, the automaker said in a statement.
Zeekr, which targets a young and trendy clientele, is jointly owned by Geely Automobile (0175.HK) and its parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (GEELY.UL).
Companies are expected to contribute their expertise in the areas of smart connectivity, batteries, young consumer markets and commodities, he said.
Automakers around the world are working with more tech companies, battery makers and mining companies to develop future products and secure component supply as part of a transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, owner of Volvo Cars and a 9.7% stake in Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), and Geely Automobile launched the Zeekr in March this year to compete with electric vehicle companies such as Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Nio Inc. (NIO.N). They jointly invested 2 billion yuan ($ 308.4 million) in the brand earlier.
Zeekr, like other global automakers, is trying to secure more chips used in its vehicles to boost production. Its executive said in June that it had no more deliveries for this year.
It also owns other brands of electric vehicles, including Geometry, which has seen its sales increase in recent months, and Polestar premium.
($ 1 = 6.4847 yuan Chinese renminbi)
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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