Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup is reportedly in discussions with investors ahead of a potential U.S. stock listing for its automotive brand, VinFast.
As reported by Reuters, three undisclosed sources have said the conglomerate is talking to investors such as Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and BlackRock in an attempt to raise about US$1 billion (A$1.4 billion).
“Electric vehicles are the topic of the year and there’s huge investor interest,” said one of the sources.
QIA is the country’s US$300 billion (A$418 billion) sovereign wealth fund and has reportedly been diversifying its investments from European and U.S. markets to Asia.
BlackRock is a New York-based multinational investment management corporation and is the world’s largest with US$9.5 trillion (A$13.25 trillion) assets under management, according to Barron’s.
The sources said VinGroup could finalise the private fundraising deal as early as December 2021.
VinFast recently debuted its e35 and e36 electric SUVs at the 2021 Los Angeles motor show. These are set for global markets like North America and Europe, with orders slated to open in the Northern Hemisphere spring (March to June 2022).
It’s attempting to entice customers away from established electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla, and aims to begin customer deliveries by the end of 2022.
VinFast CEO Michael Lohscheller told Reuters the company plans to “go after an IPO in the United States in the next one or two years”.
VinFast is best known to Australians as the company that briefly set up shop Down Under, before pulling the pin on Australian development.
It recently put the ex-Holden owned Lang Lang proving ground up for sale.
The company also closed its Australian design and engineering office in Port Melbourne, Victoria earlier in 2021.
There were plans for VinFast to develop its next-generation petrol and electric cars on Australian soil with a staff of around 100 ex-Ford, Holden, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota employees.
This Aussie plan was squashed with the company pivoting its focus to North America and Europe.
Still a fresh face on the automotive scene, VinFast was founded in 2017 by property developer Phạm Nhật Vượng, who’s Vietnam’s first billionaire with a net worth of around $6.5 billion.