China EV startup NIO files for IPO in U.S., report says

NIO, the Chinese electric-vehicle startup backed by Tencent Holdings, has filed confidentially for a planned U.S. initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Shanghai-based carmaker has submitted an initial confidential filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The share sale could raise around $2 billion, though preparations are at an early stage and the size of the deal may change, the people said.

NIO plans to take investor orders for the offering as soon as this summer or early autumn, the people said.

Selling shares could give NIO more firepower as it competes with dozens of other EV startups in the world’s biggest automobile market. The company, founded by William Li and a group of other internet entrepreneurs, started selling an SUV in December with a price tag of 448,000 yuan ($70,000) before incentives.

A representative for NIO declined to comment.

NIO also counts Baillie Gifford & Co. and Hillhouse Capital among its dozens of investors. The company is sufficiently funded for its operations and mass production plans, Li said in April. NIO was raising more than $1 billion in a new round of funding led by Tencent in November, people familiar the matter said at the time.

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