Markets

China's Geely buys stake in Swedish truck maker Volvo from Cevian

China's Geely buys stake in Swedish truck maker Volvo from Cevian

It has bought up an 8.2 per cent stake in the Swedish company from activist investor Cevian Capital, giving it 15.6 per cent of voting rights. Under the terms of an agreement signed by Daniel Donghui Li, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Geely Holding and Cevian in the presence of Christer Gardell, co-founder of Cevian, Geely Holding has committed to acquire Cevian's 88.47 million A-shares and 78.77 million B shares in AB Volvo, a press release from Geely reads.

In May, Geely agreed to buy a 51% stake in British sports-car brand Lotus and a 49.9% stake in struggling Malaysian auto maker Proton Holding, which gave it a foothold in Southeast Asia.

The value of the investment amounted to around 27.2 billion Swedish crowns ($3.26 billion), a Reuters calculation showed, although Geely and Cevian did not disclose the exact value of the transaction in their statement on Wednesday. He further stated that Geely would be supportive of Volvo's management and board as it implements its strategy.

While Volvo's shares initially rose on the deal, both the A and B shares traded more than 2.5 percent lower for the day at 1230 GMT, while Industrivarden's shares slipped 0.4 percent.

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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 previous year when selling American Railcar Leasing.

Cevian, which has held shares in Volvo since 2006, this year called for a break-up, suggesting the smaller Volvo Construction Equipment and engine and technology firm Volvo Penta should be separated from the main truck making business.

The Chinese automaker, which is in a race to develop technologies such as autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity, this year bought a 49.9% stake in Malaysia's Proton Holdings Bhd.as well as 51% of British sports-car maker Lotus Cars.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group [GEELY.UL], as the company is formally known, is the parent company of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK). Industrivarden owns mostly A shares and controls 22.8 percent of the votes.