KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): Billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary-controlled Etika Automotive Sdn Bhd's 49%-owned Lotus Cars is pushing ahead with plans to float its Lotus Technology division on the stock market in a move that would value it at £5 billion to £6 billion (about RM28.5 billion to RM34.2 billion).
In a report on Monday (Feb 21), Haymarket Media Group's weekly automobile magazine Autocar said the Geely-owned brand told investors that it plans to sell 100,000 cars per year by 2028, of which 90,000 will be electric saloons and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) produced by Lotus Technology.
It said Lotus is in the middle of a roadshow starting in China and currently in London to give potential investors a sneak preview of next year’s electric SUV, code-named Type 132.
Citing a spokesman, the magazine said the purpose of the roadshow is to “take the temperature” of investor’s enthusiasm in buying Lotus stock.
It reported that he said the company favours an initial public offering over the special purpose acquisition company method of listing recently employed by Geely stablemate Polestar despite the extra scrutiny involved in the more traditional route to market.
The report added that Lotus aims to float in 12 to 24 months, but the decision on whether to do so in Asia, London or New York had not yet been taken.
The spokesman was reported as saying that the reaction in China to the potential float was “strong”.
The decision to list Lotus Technology and not Lotus Cars, which focuses on the brand’s traditional sports car business, is down to the ownership structure of the divisions, he reportedly said.
In May 2017, DRB-Hicom Bhd exited the sports car segment with the sale of Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd for £100 million to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, which took a controlling 51% stake, and Etika Automotive, which acquired the remaining 49% stake.