Billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong has no plans to personally invest any more money in VinFast, the company's CEO said, even as the Vietnamese electric vehicle maker falls behind on factory construction plans in the U.S. and cuts staff.
Vuong, whose net worth is around $4.1 billion, is the chairman of Vingroup, a conglomerate whose operations include real estate, leisure parks and a university.
VinFast was founded by Vuong in 2017, and as of September, the EV maker's owners and lenders had invested about $7.5 billion to fund operating expenses and capital expenditures.
"Currently, Mr. Vuong has no plans" to personally invest further in VinFast, CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said in response to questions from Bloomberg News.
VinFast lost $1.3 billion in 2021 and close to $1.5 billion in the nine months through Sept. 30, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of VinFast's planned initial public offering. The December filing also said the company expects to continue to incur operating and net losses in the near term.
In the filing, VinFast said Vingroup had issued support letters to the effect that "Vingroup has the ability and will continue to provide financial support sufficient to meet our needs for continued operation." The document also said that VinFast will "require significant additional capital," expected to come via debt and equity financing and related-party financing.
VinFast was to begin construction of its planned North Carolina plant in the U.S. in September, Thuy said on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum in June last year. The factory even won praise from US President Joe Biden, who in March tweeted that it was the "latest example of my economic strategy at work."