RALEIGH – Shares in VinFast (VFS) fell below $10 a share on Monday and continued to slide Tuesday below the opening value of shares when it went public in August. The selloff came after an SEC filing on Monday in which the Vietnam based company building a huge electric vehicle company in Sanford disclosed plans to sell millions of shares.
With few shares available for sale, VinFast soared to more than $91 billion in value shortly after its stocks debuted. Noted The Wall Street Journal: “[A] tiny amount of buying pushed up the stock, giving the illusion that Wall Street had high hopes for the company.
Since then Wall Street reality has set in. In wake of its first earnings report shares fell below $15. The stock sales filing helped drive down shares more than 20 percent Monday and another 5% Tuesday.
Just before today’s close, shares were down 7% at $9.11. But a late rally drove the closing price up to $9.33.
Shares have traded as high as $93.
“We will receive all of the proceeds from the sale of up to 46,293,461 Released Shares to be sold by the Company Selling Securityholders, net of any sales commissions, fees, brokerages, taxes and other related expenses,” VinFast said in the filing.
“Based on the last reported sale price of our ordinary shares on September 20, 2023, the sale of 46,293,461 Released Shares by the Company Selling Securityholders would result in proceeds of $795,784,595 to us, which would be provided to us in relation to the Capital Funding Agreement, without taking into account sales commissions, fees, brokerages, taxes and other related expenses.”
However, shares have fallen well below the $17-plus share value that day.
Other shareholders are selling nearly 26 million other shares, the company noted.
Vinfast also is exercising warrants to sell another 3.6 million shares at $11.50, or more than $42 million, according to the filing.
CEO defends volatility in stock
On Friday, VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said the volatility was not unexpected.
“It’s normal for the share price to be very volatile at the beginning of the listing, especially with such a very small free float,” she told news agency AFP in an interview in Hanoi. Float refers to the limited number of shares that were available at the time of the offering.
The company will need billions to pay for and staff the Chatham County plant.
VinFast reported its cash reserves were $67.3 million in its earnings report but said it “believes that it has sufficient runway to grow in the coming years while continuing to look for opportunities to strengthen its balance sheet.”
Despite raising billions in the initial offering, most of the shares are controlled by billionaire founder Pham Nhat Vuong.
VinFast also has disclosed aggressive expansion plans into Asian and Indian markets, including as $1.2 billion plant in Indonesia.