According to a report coming from Reuters, Chinese carmaker Geely – through its chairman, founder and main shareholder, Li Shufu, has racked an almost 10 percent investment, worth $9 billion, in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ parent.
This new acquisition has transformed China’s biggest privately-owned automaker into the largest shareholder in Germany’s Daimler. Geely made an announcement over the weekend regarding the transaction, revealing that “for the time being” there are no plans to further increase the stake and instead the company will focus on creating a partnership with Daimler, which is currently among the top developers of electric and autonomous cars – aiming to hedge against new arrivals such as Tesla, Google or Uber.
“No current car industry player is likely to win this battle against the invaders from outside without friends. To achieve and assert technological leadership, one has to adapt a new way of thinking in terms of sharing and combining strength. My investment in Daimler reflects this vision,” commented Li in a statement.
“Daimler is pleased to announce that with Li Shufu it could win another long-term orientated shareholder, which is convinced by Daimler’s innovation strength, strategy and future potential,” the German company said in its own statement.
According to Reuters, next up are meetings this week between representatives of Geely and the Daimler managers, as well as important German government officials in Berlin. Geely is naturally interested in the advanced technology for cars and trucks, as China’s officials are fighting pollution and tightening regulation.