Shares in Li Auto Inc. (Nasdaq: LI) soared 39% upon debut Thursday on the Nasdaq Global Market, at $15.96 per American depositary share. Hours before, the Chinese maker of electric vehicles had upsized its offering to $1.1 billion by pricing its shares at $11.50 apiece – above the expected range.
The IPO coincides with a private placement worth $380 million to existing investors, according to Li Auto’s filings with the U.S. SEC. These investors are Inspired Elite Investments Ltd. – an affiliate of Meituan Dianping, Bytedance (HK) Ltd. – an affiliate of Bytedance Ltd., Zijin Global Inc., and Kevin Sunny Holding Ltd.
Underwriters are Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, UBS Securities LLC, and China International Capital Corp. Hong Kong Securities Ltd.; Tiger Brokers (NZ) and SNB Finance Holdings are also co-managing the offering. They may acquire an additional 14.25 million ADSs in Li Auto upon the IPO.
A week ago, Li Auto expected to raise $950 million for shares priced at $8 to $10 apiece. But the growing interest in the EV sector, with rivals Nio (NYSE: NIO) and Xpeng, reportedly approaching its own IPO, has propelled investors’ interest in this stock.
Li Auto has one car in sales, the Li ONE six-seater smart electric SUV. It had sold 10,400 units as of June 30, according to its filings.
For the first quarter, Li Auto posted revenues of $120.3 million on losses of $10.9 million. In 2019, it generated $40.2 million in revenues from nil in 2018 on losses of $344.4 million.