China startup Nio hires eight banks for up to $2 billion U.S. IPO: sources

China startup Nio hires eight banks for up to $2 billion U.S. IPO: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle startup Nio has hired eight banks including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to work on a planned U.S. stock market listing this year worth up to $2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Other banks are Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), Citigroup (C.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and UBS (UBSG.S), said the people, declining to be identified as the deal details are not public.

Nio’s proposed IPO of $1 billion-$2 billion comes as the firm, founded by Chinese internet entrepreneur William Li in 2014, seeks fresh capital to finance its expansion and investments in areas including autonomous driving and battery technologies, one of them said.

At the top end of the potential offering size, Nio’s IPO would become the biggest Chinese listing in America since the $25 billion public float of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) in 2014. In October 2016, Chinese logistics company ZTO Express raised $1.41 billion from an IPO in New York.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of electric car startup NIO is seen at a new NIO House “brand-experience” store, in Beijing, China November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Norihiko Shirouzu/File Photo

Nio declined to comment on its IPO plans. UBS, Citigroup and Goldman declined comment while the other banks did not immediately respond to Reuters emailed request for comment.

Shanghai-based Nio, formerly known as NextEV, 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.

It 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. It has also vowed to bring an autonomous electric car to the U.S. market by 2020.

Nio counts Asian tech behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) as its main backer alongside investment firms Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital.

Last November, the firm raised more than $1 billion in its latest fundraising round, led by existing investor Tencent, valuing the firm at about $5 billion.

Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR and Julie Zhu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Stephen Coates