Six firms act on electric vehicle brand Zeekr’s USD441m IPO

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Davis Polk, King & Wood Mallesons, Ogier, Han Kun Law Offices, Simpson Thacher and Fangda Partners have advised on Chinese electric car brand Zeekr’s USD441 million listing on the NYSE.

This marks the biggest Chinese stock offering in the US in the past three years.

Zeekr, a subsidiary of automaker Geely, issued 21 million American depositary shares at USD21 apiece and the price was positioned at the top end of the range. The automaker had to close orders a day earlier as its IPO was oversubscribed.

Davis Polk advised Geely on Hong Kong listing regulations and acted as Zeekr’s US law counsel. He Li, the firm’s co-head of Asia, and partners Li Ran and James Lin led the team, with the assistance of partner Jason Xu.

KWM advised Zeekr on PRC law. Gong Mulong, Pan Yujia, Wang Jianxue, Feng Xia, Chen Junyu and Hu Jing were the lead partners on the team. Partners Peng Jin, Ma Tianning and Meng Zi provided professional guidance.

KWM’s partner Huang Wen advised on private equity while partner Wu Han advised on data regulations.

Ogier acted as the Cayman Islands counsel to Zeekr, while Han Kun acted as China data security law counsel.

A total of 13 underwriters participated in the deal, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities and CICC.

Simpson Thacher partners Gao Yi, Christopher Wong, Jonathan Cantor, George Wang and Bryan Jin were among the 15-strong team to advise the underwriters on US law.

Fangda advised the underwriters on PRC law, with partners Jeffrey Ding, Wang Mengjie, Brian Liu and Wei Jianbo leading the team.

Zeekr is the fourth Chinese electric vehicle maker to go public in the US, following NIO, Li Auto and XPeng.

Since Zeekr confidentially filed for a US IPO to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2022, electric carmakers have been engaged in a price war for their EVs, which has dented their profits. The price war has prompted automakers to expand their businesses overseas.

This comes as Bloomberg sources said US President Joe Biden was set to increase tariff on Chinese electric vehicles from around 27.5% to 102.5% this week.

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