BYD Co. , a Chinese car maker backed by Warren Buffett, raised $3.9 billion from a stock sale, joining peers in capitalizing on investors’ bullishness about new-energy vehicles.
The deal marks BYD’s biggest equity financing since it listed in Hong Kong in 2002. The company, whose stock also trades in Shenzhen, makes electric cars, batteries, plug-in hybrids and fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.
Investor enthusiasm about green cars and breakthroughs in battery technology have sent the company’s stock soaring, making it more attractive for BYD to raise new funds. BYD stock in Hong Kong has more than quintupled in a year, giving it a market capitalization of $91 billion. That is roughly in line with NIO Inc., a newer Chinese rival, and compares to an $806 billion market cap for Tesla Inc., according to FactSet.
Other electric-car makers have also tapped equity markets for funds as they race to secure a bigger slice of the growing sector. Chinese competitor Xpeng Inc. in December raised $2.5 billion from a follow-on offering of American depositary receipts, while NIO has raised more than $4.5 billion in December and January by selling ADRs and convertible bonds.
A unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has held a stake in BYD since 2008. As of June 2020, Berkshire held 8.25% of BYD, or nearly 25% of its Hong Kong-listed stock, according to BYD’s half-year report.