Geely is poised to invest a lot of money into becoming the biggest shareholder at Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart. German weekly paper Bild am Sonntag reports, citing unnamed sources close to the matter, that the Chinese giant is interested in the electric car battery technology of the automaker and is said to be looking to establish an electric car joint venture in China.
In December last year, a report from Global Times of China indicated that Geely wants to invest nearly $4.7 billion into Daimler. According to different sources, a month earlier the German manufacturer rejected another offer from Geely for purchasing shares at a discount. Instead, the Chinese company was told to buy the stock on the open market.
We don’t know what happened with the deal from December, but now Geely will reportedly increase the investment and become the single largest shareholder at Daimler. Currently, the largest investor in the German automobile giant is Kuwait Investment Authority with a 6.8-percent stake, followed by BlackRock with 6.0 percent.
In 2010, Geely expanded its operations by acquiring Volvo for $1.8 billion and turned the Swedish brand into a very successful business with a clever management. Volvo is still engineering its models alone, but has a strong financial back from the Chinese company. The same will likely happen with Lotus, which was added to the portfolio last year after a $65-million deal with flying car firm Terrafugia. Geely also owns Emgrand, Englon, Gleagle, London Taxi, and Shanghai Maple.
Daimler is currently investing heavily into future electric vehicles and is even building a dedicated factory for batteries. An investment from Geely could be helpful for both sides, as it could speed up the R&D processes in Daimler and give Geely access to new electric and autonomous technologies.
Source: Automotive News