China’s Geely Is Buying a $9 Billion Stake in Daimler

UPDATED: 2/23/18 12:35 pm ET – adds details

Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. is acquiring a stake worth almost 7.5 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in Daimler AG to become the largest investor in the German automaker, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.

Geely has been building up a stake of just under 10 percent through purchases of Daimler’s shares in the stock market in recent weeks, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. The Hangzhou-based automaker could announce the transaction in coming days, they said.

Zhejiang Geely owns Volvo and last year acquired a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton.

In addition, last December Geely spent $3.9 billion to become the biggest shareholder of Volvo AB, which is the world’s second-largest truck maker.

Last year Geely also won control of British sports car maker Lotus while in 2013 it purchased Manganese Bronze Holdings, rescuing the maker of London’s iconic black cabs after it entered administration.

Geely also plans to introduce to Europe its new brand Lynk & CO, which started sales in its home country last year.

Following the potential deal, Zhejiang Geely would surpass Kuwait Investment Authority, as Daimler’s top shareholder.

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