China electric scooter start-up Niu plans IPO


HONG KONG • Niu, the Chinese company that sells so-called smart electric scooters in 27 countries, is pursuing an initial public offering (IPO) that could raise about US$300 million (RM1.22 billion), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The start-up, founded in 2014, is working with advisors on the potential IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Niu is considering listing shares in the US as soon as this year, the people said.

Preparations for the deal are at an early stage, and details could change, according to the people.

Niu is considering raising funds as it seeks to tap into the growing demand for battery- powered two wheelers beyond its Chinese home market. It unveiled two new scooters last month aimed at riders in Europe, where marques like Vespa and Honda are more common on urban streets. Niu sold 4,600 scooters in Europe last year and aims to at least double the number by 2020.

“We are never ruling out the possibility of an IPO,” a spokeswoman for Niu said in response to Bloomberg queries yesterday. If the time comes when Niu will pursue a listing in Hong Kong, mainland China, New York or London, “we would follow the protocol for official announcements concerning the IPO”, she said in a mobile phone text message.

Niu scooters designed for the Europe market include the M+, which has a top speed of 45kph.