This Man Now Owns Nearly 10 Percent Of Mercedes-Benz's Parent Company

China's Geely acquires $9 billion stake in Daimler

The founder of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co has accumulated a stake worth about €7.3 billion (RM35.1 billion) in Daimler AG, marking the biggest investment in a global automobile manufacturer by a Chinese company.

The company said that the Chinese businessman who owns the Geely automotive group bought a 9.69 percent stake in Daimler. Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA already hold stakes.

"Daimler knows and respects Li Shufu as a Chinese entrepreneur of particular competence and forward thinking".

The Daimler stake was purchased by an investment company headed by Li called Tenaclou3 Prospect Investment, according to the Daimler filing. But Friday is the first time Li's stake has crossed the threshold of 3 percent of stock, requiring a public notification.

Li underlined that Geely's stewardship of Sweden's Volvo Cars had contributed towards "growth and prosperity" in Europe.

Daimler issued a brief statement confirming that Li Shufu acquired 9.69% (103,619,340 shares) of the company.

The group also took a 49 per cent stake in troubled Malaysian carmaker Proton in 2017, as well as a controlling interest in the British sports vehicle marque Lotus.

Daimler sold 2.3 million Mercedes-Benz cars worldwide previous year, about a quarter of them in China. It sold more than 1 million vehicles a year ago. Since a year ago, the company has purchased various stakes in automakers around the globe, including Malaysian brand Proton Cars, British sports and racing vehicle manufacturer Lotus Cars, and Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo.

Geely has not commented publicly on the goal of its investment, but is thought to be interested in Daimler's battery technology.

"While companies like Geely continue to develop their own products for the long-term, they see an opportunity to own some winners right now", he said.

The Stuttgart firm is unusual among its German peers in lacking a single controlling shareholder, whereas Volkswagen is dominated by the Porsche-Piech clan and BMW by the Quandt-Klatten family.

Daimler now produces Mercedes-Benz cars and vans, Daimler trucks and busses, and also operates a financial services business.

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