Geely says won't buy more Daimler shares 'for the time being'

Geely says won't buy more Daimler shares 'for the time being'

Geely says won't buy more Daimler shares 'for the time being'

Chinese billionaire Li Shufu (李書福) has bought a almost 10 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG, making him the German group's largest single shareholder, a stock market filing showed on Friday. Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA already hold stakes.

Li had been "convinced by Daimler's innovation strength, strategy and future potential", he added. A Daimler spokesman described the stake purchase as a private investment by Li, Reuters reports.

But yesterday is the first time Li's stake has crossed the threshold of 3% of stock, requiring a public notification.

The Chinese group bought Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010, and has since transformed the fortunes of the Swedish carmaker.

Executives hope the reform will make Daimler more flexible as it adapts to a changing environment for the industry, electrifying a growing share of its range and offering new digital services such as ride or car-sharing. In 2010, he acquired Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co, and past year won control of British sports-car maker Lotus Cars Ltd.

Daimler issued a brief statement confirming that Li Shufu acquired 9.69% (103,619,340 shares) of the company. It is the owner of Volvo cares, LEVC, the black cabs of London maker, and in 2017 took a majority share in Proton the Malaysian automaker, a stake of $3.3 billion in Volvo trucks and control of Terrarfugia the flying auto start up business.

In 2017, auto sales in China rose 3 percent to more than 28 million, leading the world for the ninth consecutive year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and one of the world's biggest automakers, reported record profits of $13.5 billion past year.

The biggest shareholder in Germany's Daimler AG, Chinese carmaking giant Geely, has promised a long-term investment in the luxury auto firm after acquiring almost 10% of its shares. Volkswagen AG is owned by the Porsche-Piech billionaire clan with the government of Qatar counting as a major stakeholder, and BMW is owned by the wealthy billionaire Quandt-Klatten family.

Photo A Mercedes-Benz assembly line operated by Daimler in Sindelfingen, Germany.

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