How much stake can you buy in a company if you have a few dollars to spare? Ask cash-rich Geely chairman Li Shufu who just coughed out a cool US$9bn to acquire 9.69 per cent stake in Germany-based Daimler recently.
With this investment, the Chinese billionaire officially becomes the single largest shareholder in the company.
Li Shufu has been on an acquisition spree and apparently has big plans for the Chinese holding company. Shufu’s logic is that maybe one or two or three automotive manufacturers that exist today will survive in this new competition age. He thinks existing manufacturers should unite and invest in the future and become one of the two or three companies that will survive. New competition refers to the development, production and marketing of electric and autonomous cars.
Meanwhile, Geely has made no bones about seeking partnerships for developing this tech, including an attempted hostile buyout of Daimler last November. The holdings firm allegedly made an offer to buy a large amount of shares at a discounted rate, which Daimler rejected along with a message to Geely that it could by stock on the open market.
Apparently, Geely’s aggressive chief Shufu took that advice to heart and Reuters report suggests this latest grab of Daimler shares may not have been acquired in the friendliest of ways.