Vietnam’s VinFast signed deals with Credit Suisse and Citigroup to help raise roughly USD 4 billion in a mix of debt and equity to fund plans to make electric vehicles and batteries in the US state of North Carolina.
Each bank will facilitate at least USD 2 billion in financing, according to a Wednesday statement from VinFast parent Vingroup. The move is the latest in a wave of Asian companies, including Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and South Korean automaker Hyundai, which is shifting supply chains to the US. TSMC is building a chip factory in Arizona, while Hyundai plans to construct an EV plant in Georgia.
VinFast will wind down its young loss-making combustion-engine car business this year, shifting entirely to EVs, particularly buses and sport utility vehicles.
“The commitment from international leading financial institutions to work with VinFast not only demonstrates our solid reputation, but also shows the banks’ trust in VinFast’s excitement,” said Vingroup vice chairwoman Le Thi Thu Thuy.
Credit Suisse’s Singapore arm will arrange a USD 2 billion sale of securities outside Vietnam, while Citigroup’s US office will be an adviser on a further USD 2 billion in transactions that include debt or private placements of equity, VinFast said.
VinFast in April registered for an initial public offering in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission which, if successful, would be the first major listing in the US for a Vietnamese company.
It is raising funds at a time of volatile stock and bond markets abroad and at home, with rumors about Vietnam’s richest billionaire adding to the volatility. Authorities in the country said on Tuesday that they have launched a probe into misinformation about Vingroup’s founder, Pham Nhat Vuong.
The Ministry of Public Security said it is investigating locals “who committed the act of spreading false information on social networks, causing disturbances to the stock market and credit losses to an enterprise.”
The ministry cited a claim on social media that Vuong had been forbidden to leave the country. Both the ministry and the company said the claim is untrue.