Geely’s plan to expand faster than my waistline is coming to fruition. As if owning Volvo, establishing Lynk & Co., and acquiring a majority stake in Lotus aren’t enough, the Chinese automaker is now expected to purchase at least 6.8 percent of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler. The transaction will make Geely the company’s largest shareholder, edging out the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which controls 6.8 percent and 3.1 percent of Daimler, respectively.
If Geely’s long-term plan involves dominating the auto industry, it’s doing a piss poor job at being low-key about it. Acquiring stake in Daimler is arguably the automaker’s biggest transaction outside of buying Volvo back in 2010. The reported shares are also larger than what was initially suggested by Chinese state media, which reported that Geely was working on purchasing just three to five percent of Daimler.
Apparently, Geely’s a lot more aggressive than we thought. It says a lot about a company’s aggressiveness to push forward with an acquisition after getting shut down previously by Daimler when it made overtures to buy shares of the German automaker at a reduced rate. Daimler did invite its counterpart to buy shares in the open market, which Geely has reportedly done.
Now that it has another automaker to add to its portfolio, there’s no telling what Geely is capable of doing — or buying — next. It already has Volvo, Lynk & Co., Lotus, The London Taxi Company, and American flying car startup Terrafugia in the fold. Now it’s the biggest shareholder in Daimler. It’s unclear where its shares will come from, but the likely scenario is that its shares will come from institutional investors, which currently hold a 70.7 percent stake in the company with private investors holding the remaining 19.4 percent stake.
Speaking with Autocar, an anonymous analyst suggested that the acquisition is part of a plan by both Geely and Daimler to leverage their new relationship in developing shared technologies for the future. “With all the disruption in the market and luxury brands across the world working on their future investments in areas like EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility as a service, the established brands will be regularly courted by new entrants to establish brand loyalty in new products (such as electric vehicles) and ensure cost-effective use of new technologies,” the analyst said.
Read more Daimler news.
Read more Geely news.