Exclusive: Daimler rebuffs Geely offer to buy stake; Geely still hopeful of a deal – sources


HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) has turned down a proposal from China’s Geely to take a stake of as much as 5 p.c by way of a reduced share placement, because the German automaker has lengthy been reluctant to see present shareholdings diluted, sources with data of the talks stated.

FILE PHOTO: A Mercedes brand is pictured on the Frankfurt Motor Present (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photograph

A stake of that dimension could be value $four.5 billion at present market costs. Though Daimler declined the supply, it instructed Geely it was welcome to purchase shares within the open market, the sources added.

Carmakers in China have launched into a flurry of dealmaking, as they scramble to spice up manufacturing of electrical and plug-in hybrid autos forward of powerful new quotas to be imposed by Beijing, which desires to scale back city smog and decrease the nation’s reliance on oil.

Individuals with data of Geely’s considering stated the corporate was eager to entry Daimler’s electrical automotive battery expertise and needed to ascertain an electrical automotive three way partnership in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Geely, which additionally owns Swedish automotive maker Volvo, remains to be hopeful it might safe a deal in some type over the approaching weeks, they added.

The 2 automakers met in Beijing in latest weeks at Geely’s behest. There, the Chinese language agency, formally generally known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group [GEELY.UL], supplied to take a stake of between three p.c and 5 p.c if Daimler would subject new shares at a reduction, the sources stated.

It was not instantly clear what sort of low cost for the shares Geely had in thoughts or whether or not Geely was excited about shopping for the shares on the open market.

A spokesman for Geely declined to remark. A spokesman for Daimler stated the corporate was “very proud of our shareholder construction at current”, however added that it could welcome new traders with a long-term curiosity within the firm.

Shares in Daimler had been up 1 p.c in early Wednesday commerce, consistent with the broader market.


Geely, which has a market worth of some $32 billion, is the main home model in China with a 5 p.c market share, based on an evaluation by Nomura Securities.

A stake of 5 p.c would set up it as Daimler’s third-largest shareholder behind the Kuwait Funding Authority and BlackRock, who maintain 6.eight p.c and 6 p.c respectively, based on Reuters knowledge.

Daimler, nevertheless, has a long-established three way partnership with Chinese language carmaker BAIC Motor Corp (1958.HK), which its spokesman described as “our most vital companion in China.” This month it introduced plans to take a position no less than 5 billion yuan ($757 million) in electrical battery and car manufacturing with BAIC in China. It additionally has one other tie-up with BYD, a Chinese language automaker backed by Warren Buffett.

The maker of Mercedes-Benz automobiles has beforehand held comparable discussions about an funding from BAIC. However Daimler has persistently refused to subject new shares out of concern for present shareholders.

Different latest potential offers involving international and Chinese language automakers embody Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) announcement in August that it’s taking a look at establishing an electrical automotive enterprise with Chinese language agency Zotye Car Co Ltd (000980.SZ).

Any deal involving an fairness stake in Daimler could be Geely’s largest because it purchased Volvo for $1.eight billion in 2010. This week, Geely and Volvo launched the primary automotive in China below their new model, Lynk & Co, which the Chinese language group intends to ultimately take international.

Reporting by Julie Zhu and Norihiko Shirouzu; Extra reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; Writing by Jennifer Hughes; Enhancing by Edwina Gibbs

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