SHANGHAI Reuters - Lotus Technology, a new unit of China's Geely set up to develop the technology to power Lotus sports cars, is planning to raise $400 million to $500 million by the end of the year, its chief financial officer told Reuters.
In an interview, Alexious Lee stated that Lotus Technology, part of Group Lotus, which is jointly owned by the Chinese automaker and Malaysia's Etika Automotive, intends to kick off the funding round before Christmas.
That will give Lotus Technology a post-money valuation value of a company after a round of financing from external investors - from $5 billion to $6 billion, Lee said.
Lee said that the firm will launch its first product -- an electric sports utility vehicle -- in the first quarter of next year, and it aims to have three models within the next five years.
Lee said that the company is looking to sell a 10% to 15% stake because of the traction that we've gotten from international investors.
The company will spend more than half of the new funds on research and 30% - 40% on marketing, with the rest going to working capital.
According to Lee, Lotus Technology is on track for a potential initial public offering as soon as 2023, likely in New York or Hong Kong.
Lotus Cars, the maker of the Lotus Esprit, is famously driven by James Bond in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me in a segment similar to Porsche. It is expected to open a new factory in Wuhan, China next year.
We are an asset light business because we don't own our own manufacturing. Lee said that it's owned by our parent.
In China, premium and luxury car sales are growing as the coronavirus epidemic leaves consumers in the world's biggest car market with more money to spend.
Lotus Tech's investors include Nio Capital, an investment firm founded by the CEO of Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio Inc., which has a value of 15 billion yuan https: www.reuters. In September, the article lotus-china idCAKBN 2 G 3089 $2.35 billion was published.