WASHINGTON—Daimler says that Chinese businessman Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely, has acquired nearly 10 per cent of the German automaker’s shares.
Geely, which owns Sweden’s Volvo Cars, continues to expand its portfolio of vehicle brands that includes a 49.9 per cent stake in Malaysia’s Proton and a 51 per cent stake in Britain’s Lotus. Geely also owns Geely Auto, one of China’s biggest independent automakers.
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and one of the world’s biggest automakers, reported record profits of US$13.5 billion last year. It has a total market value of approximately $91 billion.
Shares in Daimler ticked up slightly in European trading Friday, to about $86 per share, putting the value of the deal in the neighbourhood of $9 billion. The purchase makes Li Shufu the German automaker’s largest single shareholder.