Geely's premium electric car brand Zeekr files for U.S. IPO

The Geely Automobile Holdings logo is pictured at the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing
The Geely Automobile Holdings logo is pictured at the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Dec 13 (Reuters) - China's Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK) said on Tuesday its electric car brand, Zeekr, had confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering, in what would be the first major Chinese listing in the country in nearly two years.

Zeekr filed with U.S regulators last week, without providing any details on the size of its IPO or about its listing date, said Geely, which in October had laid out plans to spin off the subsidiary.

Reuters on Monday exclusively reported that Zeekr was aiming to raise more than $1 billion in its U.S. IPO and seeking a valuation of more than $10 billion.

That compares with a valuation of about $9 billion in its maiden external fundraising last year.

The plans come as the brand, which competes with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Chinese peer Nio Inc (9866.HK), sets its sights on marketing its 001 crossover - its first and only model - in Europe next year.

In doing so, it joins a growing list of Chinese automakers looking to launch or expand sales of EVs in the region.

A Zeekr IPO would be the first major U.S. float of a Chinese firm since Beijing tightened its grip on overseas share sales in July last year.

The filing also comes after Beijing and Washington struck a landmark auditing deal in August that sharply lowered the likelihood of delisting for more than 200 New York-listed Chinese companies.

Reporting by Riya Sharma and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shilpi Majumdar

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