BAIC Said to Hire Goldman, Morgan Stanley to Oversee IPO

Beijing Automotive Group Co., which makes vehicles in China with Daimler AG and Hyundai Motor Co., hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley for the Hong Kong initial public offering of its car unit, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Beijing-based company, known as BAIC, may seek more than $1 billion in the IPO as soon as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The IPO would be the biggest by an automaker since General Motors Co.’s $18.1 billion offering in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

BAIC would use IPO proceeds to develop its own brand, Chairman Xu Heyi said in September. The state-owned company, which traces its roots to making sidecar motorcycles used in the Korean War, has said it wants to make “world-class” cars by 2025 and hired Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti to help improve its brand appeal.

The IPO may get pushed into 2014 as BAIC restructures the car unit, said one of the people. A press official at BAIC said he couldn’t immediately comment.

New share sales by Chinese companies in Hong Kong have slowed along with growth in the world’s second-largest economy. Chinese companies raised $6.4 billion in Hong Kong IPOs last year, the smallest amount since 2004, data compiled by Bloomberg show.