Vietnamese Electric Carmaker VinFast Files For U.S. IPO
VinFast, an electric carmaker based in Vietnam, has kicked off the process for an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. The company has unveiled an F-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showing its intention to list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange.
- VinFast is a fast-growing electric carmaker founded in 2017 by Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong. Vuong chairs Vingroup, one of Vietnam’s largest conglomerates and the majority shareholder of Vinfast. The conglomerate, which is listed on a Vietnamese stock exchange, holds a 52% stake in Vinfast, filings show. The remaining 48% stake is owned by two corporate entities tied to Vuong.
- VinFast’s core products are two electric SUVs; the VF8 and the VF9 with respective base prices of $57,000 and $76,000– buyers can also opt in for a lower upfront cost plus a monthly battery subscription. Because of the relatively high cost, it’s marketed mainly in the U.S. and Europe instead of VinFast’s home base of Vietnam. The company also makes electric scooters, of which it has sold over 145,000 units, according to the F-1 filing. VinFast initially started with gas-powered cars but stopped selling them by August 2022.
VinFast’s F-1 filing shows $439mn in revenue and a $1.4bn net loss in the nine months ended September 2022. In the same period of the previous year, it reported $468mn in revenue and a $752mn net loss. The company’s sizeable losses aren’t out of the norm for a company starting out in a capital-intensive sector. The question for investors is if VinFast can successfully corner a significant share of the competitive electric car market and turn a profit once it reaches sufficient scale. The company has a current debt load of $2.5bn.
No Vietnamese company has ever listed its shares abroad, so VinFast is making itself a pioneer with its imminent public listing. It comes just as the company is preparing to establish a foothold in the United States; it is building a manufacturing facility in North Carolina that it claims will produce up to 150,000 cars annually; VinFast received $1.2bn in tax incentives from the state to set up the facility. For now, all the company’s cars are manufactured in Vietnam and shipped abroad.
- VinFast intends to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange with the “VFS” symbol. This year has witnessed a big slump in the U.S. IPO market, so VinFast is bold to be listing its shares during this period. The company hasn’t yet revealed how much money it’s targeting to raise from its initial public offering.