China’s Geely builds $9bn stake in Daimler
February 27, 2018 -- Chinese carmaker Geely has become Mercedes-maker Daimler’s largest investor, taking a €7.3 billion-stake -- 9.7 percent of Daimler’s shares -- for access to know-how in electric and self-driving vehicles.
Geely burst onto the global stage in 2010 with its $1.8 billion acquisition of Sweden’s Volvo Cars. Geely also owns several other carmakers including British sports car brand Lotus, London’s black-cab maker LEVC, Malaysian carmaker Proton and U.S flying car start-up Terrafugia. It has agreed to buy a $3.3 billion stake in Volvo Trucks.
Geely is the Hangzhou-based flagship of photographer-turned-tycoon, Li Shufu, China’s most prosperous private-sector auto industry entrepreneur, with a fortune estimated by Forbes to be worth $17 billion.
Daimler already has joint ventures with Chinese EV makers BAIC Motor Corp. and BYD. Daimler and Warren Buffett-backed BYD -- short for “Build Your Dreams” -- are involved in a joint electric brand, Denza, while BAIC and Daimler have announced plans for a new $1.9 billion factory in China for Mercedes-Benz cars.
Geely rival Great Wall Motor Co., China’s largest producer of SUVs and pick-up trucks, also struck a deal with BMW last week to jointly produce Mini electric vehicles in China.