Geely eyes $9bn stake in Daimler

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With revenue exceeding RMB 270 billion (about Dollars 43 billion) in 2017, the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is China's largest privately owned automotive manufacturing company and one of the world's leading providers of electro-mobility. The founder and owner of Geely - the company which has prestigious brands like Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co., and Lotus under it - has acquired a $9 billion stake in Daimler.

The size of the investment leapfrogs a 6.8 percent stake in the Stuttgart-based group held by Kuwait and Renault-Nissan Group's 3.1 percent holding. Geely has promised to be a long-term Daimler shareholder.

Its move to buy more Daimler poses a big challenge for the Germany-based auto maker since Mercedes-Benz already holds an industrial alliance for developing vehicles with Renault-Nissan, which is owner of 3.1% of Daimler, and announced plans to build new electric vehicles with existing joint venture partner in China BAIC Motor Corporation.

The investment by Li Shufu, which Daimler confirmed Friday in a regulatory filing in Germany, represents 9.69 percent of the company.

Li has been working to acquire an array of global automotive holdings and turn Geely into the dominant player in China. "It will be an honour to support this unique team under the leadership of Dieter Zetsche in the future", said Li Shufu, chairman and owner of Zheijang Geely Holding Group.

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Geely said on Saturday (Feb 24) there were no plans "for the time being" to raise the stake further.

With revenue exceeding RMB 270 billion (US$ 42.7 billion) in 2017, the Zheijang Geely Holding Group is China's largest privately owned automotive manufacturing company and one of the world's leading providers of electro-mobility. Last year, it sold about 1.3 million cars in China, making it the 4th largest carmaker in the country.

The Chinese group bought Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010, and has since transformed the fortunes of the Swedish carmaker.

Chinese media reports say Geely's purchase of Daimler shares is part of its effort to gain access to the German maker's battery technology, an essential component in the development of electric cars.

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