Vietnamese automaker eyeing US market and filing for IPO in New York – The Diplomat

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Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast has filed for an IPO in New York to bolster its bold entry into the US market, the company announced today.

In a statement, the burgeoning automaker, which is backed by Vietnam’s richest man Pham Nhat Vuong, said it hopes to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “VFS.” Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan “will act as lead book-running managers and as agents of the underwriters for the proposed offering,” the statement said. Nomura and BNP Paribas are also among the bookrunners of the deal. If successful, the move would make it the only Vietnamese company listed in the US

According to the statement, the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering are “not yet certain.”

“The valuation or size of our IPO will depend in part on market conditions,” VinFast chief executive Le Thi Thu Thuy said in a separate statement today, Reuters reported. “VinFast will continue to monitor opportunities for future fundraisers as the market becomes more familiar with the VinFast brand and history,” she added.

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Founded in 2017, the Vietnamese automaker is preparing for an aggressive entry into the United States, where it hopes to capture a significant share of the electric vehicle market, which is expected to grow from about 5 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market today to 17.4 percent by 2027. To lead its American invasion, the company has produced two all-electric SUVs, the VF8 and VF9, which include a battery leasing program to lower the purchase price and under-price its more established competitors.

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The filing comes this week, Reuters reported, after the company filed a confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April, a month after it announced plans to build a $2 billion manufacturing facility in North Carolina would have. The 800-hectare complex will have an initial capacity to produce 150,000 electric vehicles per year, in addition to manufacturing EV batteries and other ancillary components.

Today’s IPO announcement came two weeks after VinFast shipped its first batch of vehicles to the United States. In a statement Nov. 25, the company said delivery of 999 VF 8 electric SUVs was the first of 65,000 global orders and said it forecasts to sell 750,000 electric vehicles annually through 2026.

VinFast’s ambition cannot be denied. Even at its best, it will likely take years, if not decades, for the company to establish itself as a mainstay of the U.S. auto market. But whether it succeeds or not, it’s a remarkable story. If you had predicted in the 1980s that a company from isolated, conflict-torn Vietnam would invest hundreds of millions in the United States and create jobs for US workers within four decades, it would have been hard to believe.

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VinFast has leaned heavily into this narrative and woven into its own story, which played a major role in the emergence of Vietnam. In the statement following the delivery of electric vehicles to the United States last month, Nguyen Viet Quang, the company’s Vice Chairman and CEO, described it as “a significant event for VinFast and Vingroup and a proud historic milestone for the Vietnamese automotive industry.” He added, “We hope that the launch of VinFast’s smart electric vehicles on the roads around the world will help project the image of a new, dynamic and progressive Vietnam to global audiences.”