Electric vehicle maker VinFast’s shares (VFS.O) soared on their Nasdaq debut on Tuesday following the Vietnamese startup’s $23-billion backdoor listing as the company said it was likely to raise money from global investors within 18 months.
The stock opened at $22, more than double the $10 per share agreed with VinFast’s SPAC partner Black Spade Acquisition (BSAQ.A) that had valued VinFast at $23 billion.
The merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) gave Vinfast a listing in a market where its founder, Vietnam’s richest man, hopes to take on industry leader Tesla (TSLA.O) with a $4-billion factory under construction and a new approach to sales to bring in dealers.
“We have a number of strategic investors and institutional investors lined up. We expect to formulate some kind of capital raising over the next 18 months for sure,” VinFast Chief Financial Officer David Mansfield told Reuters.
“We don’t need more equity capital but if an opportunity is presented, we’ll obviously take advantage of that while we can.”
At one point on Tuesday morning, VinFast shares traded over $34, which would have valued the electric vehicle (EV) maker, which has not posted a profit, at almost $79 billion, more than Ford’s (F.N) market capitalization at $48 billion and General Motors (GM.N) at $47 billion.
VinFast’s founder, Vietnam’s richest man Pham Nhat Vuong, is the beneficial owner of 99% of the 2.3 billion ordinary shares of the EV maker after the merger through his flagship company and affiliates.
The volume of trading in VinFast was negligible, with only 0.16% of shares changing hands in the first three hours of trading.