BYD to Spend Funds From Share Sale to Expand Battery Production

BYD Co. e6 Electric Taxis
BYD Co. e6 electric taxis are charged at Pengcheng Electric Taxi Company E Taxi dispatch and charging center in Shenzhen, China. Photographer: Forbes Conrad/Bloomberg

BYD Co. will spend the proceeds from a planned share sale to increase its capacity to manufacture batteries to meet the growth in demand for electric vehicles.

The maker of electric buses and cars urgently needs to increase the capacity to capitalize on opportunities in the market, according to the company’s investor relations activity log, posted on a website owned by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The company, which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. as a shareholder, plans to raise about 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in a private A-share placement, people familiar with the matter said.

BYD has sought to develop its own power units rather than rely on external suppliers, seeing batteries as a core technology that will play a big part in the success or failure of its electric vehicles. The company last month projected more orders for its electric buses after winning its biggest order in the U.S. from a mass-transit operator.

BYD is the biggest seller of electric cars in China, with taxi operators in cities including Shenzhen buying its e6 for their fleets.

— With assistance by Tian Ying

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