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29 December 2017, 01:04 | Ruby West
China's Geely adds to Swedish assets by taking major stake in truck-maker Volvo
They did not disclose the value of the transaction, which makes Geely Volvo's largest owner by capital and the second biggest by voting rights after investment firm Industrivarden. The auto business made an operating profit of 10.4 billion Swedish crowns in the first nine months this year, up from 1.6 billion for the whole of 2011, the year after Geely bought Volvo from Ford.
Geely Holding acquired the Volvo Car Group from Ford Motor Company in 2010 but says it has no plans to merge the two Volvo businesses, but sees potential for joint marketing. Reuters reports that Volvo Cars brought in $1.26 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, compared to just $193 million in 2011, the first full year of Geely's ownership.
AB Volvo owns 45 percent of Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, one of China's largest truck makers, and also has a significant construction equipment business in China.
Li said Geely would support Volvo management's current strategy.
Shares of its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary Geely Automobile Holdings gained 0.6 per cent to HK$25.8 (US$3.30) on Wednesday, jumping 254 per cent from the close of previous year.
According to the news feature, this would make the deal the most lucrative exit ever by an activist, according to Nomura, topping the €2.7 billion (Rs 20,638 crore) Icahn Enterprises made a year ago when selling American Railcar Leasing.
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.
This June, Geely bought a 49.9% stake in Malaysia's Proton Holdings, as well as a 51% stake in British automaker Lotus. Industrivarden owns mostly A shares and controls 22.8 percent of the votes.
Christer Gardell, Cevian's co-founder, said the activist was happy to have helped the Volvo Group become a more competitive and valuable company.
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