Farizon Auto, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.’s new-energy commercial vehicle brand, is considering raising as much as $300 million in fresh funds ahead of a potential U.S. initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is seeking a valuation of about $4.5 billion in the new round of funding, up from about $3 billion from its fundraising last year, the people said. Farizon is studying the possibility of listing in the U.S. as soon as the end of this year, though no final decision has been made, the people said.
Considerations are at an early stage and details of the new funding round and IPO could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A representative for Geely declined to comment.
Founded in 2016, Farizon manufactures electric commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, according to Geely Holding’s website. The company in October raised more than $300 million in a pre-A series funding round led by a unit of Singapore-based logistics and real estate giant GLP Pte. Other investors include Citic Securities Co. and GLy Capital Management.
Farizon launched a methanol-fueled heavy truck in 2019, and two years later introduced a new engine that it said cut average annual fuel costs by 18 percent compared to diesel heavy trucks. The company last year launched an electric truck that adopts autonomous driving technologies.
The brand’s cumulative sales in January and February rose 263 percent on a year-on-year basis, while its alternative-energy-powered light duty truck commands about 42 percent of the market segment in China, according to a March 14 press release.
Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group, the division that houses Farizon, is considering an IPO in three to five years, its CEO Mike Fan told Bloomberg News in 2021.
Geely is on a fundraising blitz as the auto giant pursues ambitious goals for its global automotive empire. Electric car brand Lotus Technology agreed to merge with a blank-check company in a transaction that values the combined entity at about $5.4 billion.
Smart-car tech startup Ecarx Holdings Inc. and Polestar Automotive Holding UK both debuted in the US market following special purpose acquisition company transactions in the past two years, raising over $1 billion in total. Geely’s premium EV brand Zeekr late last year filed confidentially for a U.S. IPO.