Geely could be useful back-seat driver at Volvo


Chinese vehicle maker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said Wednesday that it would by a $3.23 billion stake in Swedish truck and bus company Volvo AB, another sign of Chinese companies' appetite for global auto assets, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Geely, which already owns the Volvo Car Group, will be the largest shareholder in terms of capital and the second largest in terms of voting rights, behind Swedish investment firm Industrivarden.

The move represents another step by Geely - China's most-acquisitive auto maker - to become a global player. Geely bought Volvo Cars in 2010.

Beijing/Stockholm: About a decade after Chinese billionaire Li Shufu bought the Volvo Car nameplate from Ford Motor Co. and revived the brand, he's turning his attention to the Swedish company's heavy vehicles in a bid to bulk up outside China.

The value of the investment amounted to around 27.2 billion Swedish crowns ($3.26 billion), a Reuters calculation showed. It also owns the company that makes London's black cabs and has invested in sports carmaker Lotus.

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Geely's Chief Financial Officer Daniel Donghui Li said the company is "a well-recognised strategic long-term investor", and aims "to contribute positively to the long-term development of AB Volvo".

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group [GEELY.UL], as the company is formally known, is the parent company of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK).

The value of the transaction was not revealed.

Lynk & Co, a joint venture between Volvo Cars and its parent group Geely, started selling its first model last month, joining the competition in the mainland's mainstream vehicle segment which is dominated by foreign brands including Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Toyota. Industrivarden owns mostly A shares and controls 22.8 percent of the votes.

In the latest deal, Geely will acquire 88.5 million A shares and 78.8 million B shares to give it 15.6 percent of Volvo voting rights.