Chinese electric vehicle maker Li Auto files for U.S. listing

July 11, 2020 5:40 AM EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Li Auto Inc, backed by food delivery giant Meituan Dianping <3690.HK>, has filed for a U.S. initial public offering.

The move, announced on Friday, comes as share prices of EV makers including Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO) have surged in recent months.

Five-year-old Li Auto, formerly known as CHJ Automotive, is building Li ONE extended-range electric sport-utility vehicles in China's eastern city of Changzhou.

Unlike rival Tesla and Nio's pure battery electric vehicles, Li ONE allows drivers to charge their cars with electricity or gasoline. Li Auto has 21 showrooms in China, the world's biggest auto market, and aims to operate 60 by the end of this year.

The Beijing-based company, led by chief executive Li Xiang, sold 9,666 vehicles in the first six months this year. China's overall electric vehicle market, however, fell for the twelfth straight month in June.

In a filing to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Li Auto said it intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LI" .

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and UBS are the underwriters for the IPO.

Reuters reported in January that Li Auto filed for a U.S. initial public offering, aiming to raise at least $500 million, citing people familiar with the matter.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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