Vietnam-based VinFast could delay its initial public offering (IPO) until 2023, according to Pham Nhat Vuong, the chairman of parent company Vingroup. Speaking at an annual general meeting, he explained that the move might be pushed back due to market uncertainties.
"The IPO is not just for fundraising. It's also about marketing and claiming VinFast's position globally," the chairman said, according to Reuters. While the IPO remains scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2022, VinFast is ready to move it back to 2023 if needed.
VinFast is facing many of the same setbacks as bigger and better-established rivals. Its operations have been affected by the on-going chip shortage, a problem compounded by COVID-19-related lockdowns in Shanghai that have forced semiconductor factories to close. Predicting when the situation will improve is difficult, but Vuong stressed that the IPO will take ultimately place "no matter how uncertain the market."
Some of the funds that VinFast will raise by holding an IPO will help it build a $2 billion factory in Chatham County, North Carolina, that's expected to create about 7,500 jobs. Construction work will begin as soon as the company receives the necessary permits, and the plant is tentatively scheduled to begin manufacturing a pair of electric crossovers called VF8 (pictured) and VF9, respectively, by 2024. However, executives are also looking at ways to secure other sources of funding, according to Reuters. One option that remains on the table is the American government's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, a $25 billion program that aims to help EV makers.
In the meantime, VinFast plans to start selling cars in the United States by the end of 2022.