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VinFast completes SPAC merger, set to start trading on Nasdaq

CHATHAM COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA – July 28: VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy speaks as Electric carmaker Vinfast breaks ground in its $4B NC manufacturing plant located within the Triangle Innovation Point on July 28, 2023.

Nick Ut | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Vietnamese electric vehicle maker VinFast is expected to list on the tech-focused Nasdaq on Tuesday morning in New York, following completion of its merger with the U.S.-listed special purpose acquisition company Black Spade Acquisition.

SPACs are shell companies that raise capital in an IPO and use the cash to merge with a private company in order to take it public, usually within two years.

On Monday, VinFast said in a joint statement with Black Spade Acquisition that it would commence trading on Aug. 15.

The deal values VinFast at approximately $23 billion, according to a June filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Following the merger, Black Spade became a wholly owned subsidiary of VinFast and is expected to delist from the New York Stock Exchange, said the joint statement.

“It’s a big milestone for us to be listed in the U.S. The listing is going to open access to the capital markets for us in the future,” VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy told CNBC Tuesday morning Asia time.

VinFast, the automobile arm of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, was founded in 2017.

The EV maker has been expanding in the U.S., going up against the likes of Tesla and and BYD, as well as traditional automakers increasingly focusing on hybrids and electric vehicles.

We try to stay competitive in every market that we are in in terms of profitability. I think it will come together with the volume. For now, we will stay true to our strategy.

Le Thi Thu Thuy

CEO of VinFast

On whether VinFast is under the pressure to cut prices in general, Le said the company’s strategy is “offering premium quality products at affordable pricing with excellent after sales service.”

“We always price our products quite competitively compared to other similar products. But when you look deeply into our products, we are loaded with more features and more technology. So I think consumers started recognizing the values that we bring with our products,” said Le.

“We try to stay competitive in every market that we are in in terms of profitability. I think it will come together with the volume. For now, we will stay true to our strategy.”

As a comparison, VinFast’s 5-seater VF 8 starts from $46,000 while the basic Tesla 5-seater Model Y is priced from $47,740.

Tesla passenger vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit in the U.S., while VinFast vehicles don’t currently qualify for the tax savings as they’re not built in the U.S.

To compete with brands in the U.S. market, VinFast is building a factory in North Carolina. The automaker said the 1,800-acre facility is designed to produce up to 150,000 vehicles a year in the first phase.

The factory is expected to start operations in 2025 — a year later than its initial target of 2024.

“With the North Carolina plant, we expect that we’d be able to significantly reduce the costs and [offer] the products at affordable pricing to the customers in the U.S.,” Le said Tuesday.

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