RALEIGH – Despite reporting another big quarterly loss this month on top of significant losses earlier this year, VinFast is continuing its aggressive expansion efforts beyond its multibillion dollar plant near Sanford, its CEO told Bloomberg in an interview.
The news helped drive VinFast (VFS) shares to a new low of $6.75 on Monday, down 15%. Shares have plummeted from a high of $93 a share shortly after VinFast went public in August. Just before the close shares fell 18% to $6.54.
The falling share price is important since VinFast investors – largely from firms owned by VinFast’ founder – are looking to sell millions of shares to raise capital for the company, according to a recent SEC filing. However, shares have fallen well below the $17-plus share value set in September.
Also impacting shares were new discounts being offered by EV rival Tesla. The Tesla news hit the EV sector with downward pressure, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Chief Executive Officer Le Thi Thu Thuy said the Vietnam-based company plans to raise “a lot of capital” for its plant in Chatham County as well as a new one in Indonesia. Plus there have been reports VinFast may buy a former Ford plant for expansion into India,
“We intend to move into Asean [southeast Asia region] aggressively, starting with Indonesia,” Thuy said in the interview.
The company is “working on a lot of transactions” to increase its investor base, Thuy told Bloomberg.
Questions have already been raised about VinFast’s ability to generate the capital needed for its NC factory and other expansion moves.
“This is a really important deal for North Carolina. Lots of jobs on the line, lots of investment, but VinFast is not really in great financial health,” Motley Fool analyst Rich Smith told WRAL TechWire in a video interview. “They’ve got about $3 billion in debt, for one thing, less than a hundred million dollars in cash, and they’re burning through roughly $3.3 billion dollars per year at present. That doesn’t leave them a lot of wiggle room with which to be building plants … they’re going to need a lot of money.”
Just last week, VinFast also has reported to U.S. Securities Regulators that VinFast would acquire the battery factory operated by VinES for “no consideration” aside from assuming company debt of approximately $462 million. That company is also owned by VinFast founder Pham Nhat Vuong
Thuy also said “VinFast will rely on support from parent company Vingroup JSC and Vuong in the next 18 months,” Bloomberg explained.
Sales targets of between 45,000 and 50,000 are expected to be met, the CEO said. Bloomberg reiterated that more than 7,000 of some 29,000 vehicle sold in the recently closed quarterly were to another firm owned by Vuong.
According to a securities filing, Bloomberg broke down VFS share ownership as of Sept. 21 this way:
- Vingroup, 50.8%
- Vietnam Investment Group, or VIG, 32.9%
- Asian Star Trading & Investment Ltd., 12.9%
Vuong owns a majority of shares in each, Bloomberg noted, but not Vinfast. VIG and Asian Star are looking to sell millions of shares.
VinFast is “working on a lot of transactions” to increase its investor base, Thuy said.