Geely becomes top stakeholder in Volvo Group


China's Geely Holding [GEELY.UL], owner of the Volvo auto brand, is buying an 8.2 percent stake in Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo (VOLVb.ST) from activist investor Cevian Capital, worth around $3.3 billion at current market prices.

The Chinese company will also become the second-largest owner of AB Volvo by voting rights after investment firm Industrivarden. And along with Volvo Cars, it a year ago launched a new brand, Lynk & Co., to sell mid-priced vehicles positioned between Geely's lower-priced vehicles and Volvo.

Geely Holdings, the parent company of Volvo Cars, has just made a large investment in Volvo Trucks. The deal is valued at about €3.25 billion ($3.9 billion), people familiar with the matter said separately, verifying a figure reported earlier by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The Reuters article also noted that AB Volvo owns 45 percent of Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, one of China's largest truck makers.

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".

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In its last full year, AB Volvo had sales of 301bn Swedish kronor (£27bn) and a pre-tax profit of 20.8 Skr. Geely and Cevian declined to disclose the exact value of the transaction.

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 past year when selling American Railcar Leasing.

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 past year. Industrivarden owns mostly A shares and controls 22.8 percent of the votes.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cevian will sell all of its 88.47 million A-shares and 78.77 million B-shares in Volvo to Nomura International and Barclays Bank, Geely and Cevian said in a joint statement.



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