Leapmotor's founding team has pledged not to transfer or reduce their stake in the company in any way over the next 10 years.

Leapmotor tries to calm investors as shares fall nearly 30% after Stellantis deal-CnEVPost

Shares of Leapmotor (HKG: 9863), traded in Hong Kong, have accumulated a drop of about 26 percent in four trading days after last week's announcement of a deal with Stellantis NV, Europe's second-largest carmaker by sales. Now, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker is trying to calm investors.

Leapmotor founder, chairman and CEO Zhu Jiangming and his wife Liu Yunzhen, as well as the company's shareholder Fu Liquan and his wife Chen Ailing, have voluntarily pledged not to transfer or reduce their holdings in the company in any way over the next 10 years, the EV maker said in a Hong Kong stock exchange announcement yesterday.

The pledge is based on the founding team's confidence in Leapmotor's future development and aims to promote the company's sustainable, stable and healthy development and safeguard the interests of public investors, the announcement said.

Fu, who is chairman of video surveillance equipment maker Dahua Technology, began serving as a director of Leapmotor in December 2015 and resigned in December 2021, according to the EV maker's Hong Kong listing prospectus.

The four people who made the pledge have a concerted action agreement and held a total of about 31.01 percent of Leapmotor's shares, according to the company's prospectus dated September 20, 2022.

On October 26, Leapmotor unveiled its tie-up with Stellantis, saying the latter would invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.59 billion) in it for a roughly 20 percent stake and two seats on the company's board.

Stellantis will spend HK$3.49 billion ($446 million) on all 90 million Leapmotor shares held by Dahua, making it the EV maker's largest outside shareholder.

The two companies plan to form a joint venture called Leapmotor International to accelerate and expand global sales of Leapmotor products by leveraging Stellantis' global resources.

Stellantis will own 51 percent of the joint venture, with Leapmotor holding the other 49 percent.

The joint venture will have exclusive rights to export and sell to all markets worldwide except Greater China, as well as exclusive rights to manufacture Leapmotor products locally.

Stellantis' investment was widely seen as an endorsement of Leapmotor's technology by an international automotive giant, but the Chinese EV maker's shares closed down 10.87 percent in Hong Kong on October 26, despite opening up more than 11 percent.

Following that selloff, Leapmotor continued its weak performance in Hong Kong, falling 1.98 percent on October 27 and rising 0.16 percent on October 30.

Yesterday, Leapmotor plunged 15.84 percent to HK$27.1 at the close of trading in Hong Kong, a new low since March this year.

Some blamed the plunge in Leapmotor's share price on investor concerns that it would lose its independence to expand into overseas markets on its own.

($1 = 0.9458 euros)

Stellantis to acquire 20% stake in Leapmotor with €1.5 billion investment, to form JV for international markets