Chinese EV maker Nio expects to raise $1.32 billion in IPO

The logo of electric car startup NIO is seen at a new NIO House "brand-experience" store, in Beijing, China November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Norihiko Shirouzu/File Photo

(Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio Inc [NIO.N], backed by Chinese tech heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd 0700.HK, on Tuesday said it expects to raise up to $1.32 billion in its initial public offering.

Nio expects its offering of 160 million shares to be priced between $6.25 and $8.25 per share, the company said in a filing At the higher end of the range, the company will have a valuation of about $8.46 billion.

The IPO comes as the firm, like other Chinese EV makers, seeks fresh investments capital to develop new products and finance in areas such as autonomous driving and battery technologies.

Nio, formerly known as NextEV, is betting on the benefits of local production to compete with firms such as Tesla Inc TSLA.O(

In June, Nio began deliveries of its ES8 pure-electric, seven-seat sport-utility vehicle, which the company sees as a rival to Tesla’s Model X. It also plans to launch a second, lower-priced electric sport-utility vehicle, the ES6, by the end of this year.

Several EV makers like WM Motor Technology Co and Xpeng Motor have also raised funds from heavyweight investors including tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N , Baidu Inc BIDU.O and Tencent.

China has been promoting EVs since 2009 and aims to become a dominant global producer as it bids to curb vehicle emissions, boost energy security and promote high-tech industries.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. and J.P. Morgan are some of the lead underwriters for the public offer.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh