Major Chinese auto exec takes stake in Daimler

Lloyd Doyle
February 24, 2018

China's Geely has acquired around $9 billion in Daimler shares, representing a 10-percent stake in the German automaker.The investment marks further expansion of Geely's interest in European automakers.

The stake purchase followed an initial approach last November, when Geely sought to buy a Daimler stake as a way to access Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle and battery technology to help it to comply with a Chinese crackdown on pollution. "At the same time, this opens another path into China for Daimler". The Stuttgart-based carmaker is looking forward to another long-term investor recognizing the company's innovative strengths, spokesman Joerg Howe said by phone.

In a statement, Daimler said it was pleased to have Mr. Li as a "long-term-oriented shareholder" and described him as " an especially knowledgeable entrepreneur with a clear vision for the future, with whom one can constructively discuss the change in the industry".

"Daimler has got a broad-based portfolio and footprint in China", Daimler said, noting that Beijing Auto remained "a strong partner on site". HNA Group Co. has a stake of about 8.8 percent in Deutsche Bank AG, and industrial-robot maker Kuka was purchased by Midea, the world's largest appliance maker a few years ago.

Zhejiang Geely owns Volvo Cars, as well as the maker of London's black cabs, and past year acquired a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton and a stake in Volvo Trucks.

The Chinese firm, which controls Hong Kong-listed Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. The 9.69 percent stake is the biggest single holding in the maker of luxury cars, trucks and vans, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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

Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund owned about 6.8 percent of Daimler's shares as September 30, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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