VinFast's Nasdaq Debut Sees Shares Soar for Vietnamese EV Manufacturer
VinFast, the Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer, experienced a remarkable surge in its shares during its debut on the Nasdaq exchange. Despite limited trading, the stock opened at $22, more than doubling the last closing price of VinFast’s SPAC partner, Black Spade Acquisition. This milestone came after VinFast concluded its merger with the special purpose acquisition company, marking Asia’s largest M&A deal this year. The merger valued VinFast at $23 billion, and at one point, the stock reached $24, potentially valuing the EV startup at $55 billion, surpassing Ford’s market capitalization of $48 billion. However, the trading volume remained minimal, with only 0.07% of shares changing hands in the first hour after the listing.
VinFast’s founder, Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s wealthiest individual, pledged $2.5 billion in April to support the EV manufacturer, including $1 billion from his personal fortune. Following the merger, Vuong became the beneficial owner of 99% of VinFast’s 2.3 billion ordinary shares through his flagship company and affiliates. While VinFast faces competition in the EV market, particularly from other companies that have gone public through SPAC deals, the trading performance of some rivals such as Nikola Corp and Lucid has seen significant declines. Nikola’s market value dropped from $13.9 billion to $1.4 billion, and Lucid’s market value decreased from $24 billion during its SPAC deal to $15.5 billion. In contrast, EV manufacturers like Tesla Inc and Rivian Automotive Inc, which did not go public via SPACs, have shown more favorable stock performance, with Tesla shares rising 94.6% this year and Rivian up nearly 17%.
VinFast operates as a subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate. Vingroup and its affiliates invested $9.3 billion in the EV maker, as disclosed in a June filing. VinFast’s future plans involve constructing a $4 billion plant in North Carolina to increase car shipments to the United States, its primary target market abroad. While the company has delivered nearly 3,000 units to the U.S. since March, its sales figures remain undisclosed. In contrast to its ambitious goals, VinFast reported a 49% decrease in first-quarter revenue compared to the previous year, with a net loss of $598 million. In 2022, the company incurred a loss of $2.1 billion and has yet to achieve profitability. Earlier this year, VinFast abandoned a $2 billion ordinary listing in favor of the SPAC merger. Following the merger, Black Spade Acquisition investors cashed out over 80% of their shares, leaving approximately $14 million in the company’s trust, according to public filings.