CHINA-GERMANY: CHINA'S AUTO MANUFACTURER GEELY ACQUIRES TEN PERCENT SHARE IN DIAMLER

On March 2, Daimler made a surprise announcement that  Geely's founder and Chairman, Li Shufu, had acquired almost 10 percent of the automaker. Reuters reported that Li Shufu had, according to multiple sources and documents reviewed by Reuters, spent months stealthily laying groundwork for the stake. Two sources in Geely and one source close to the company said a senior executive there, Li Yifan, had for more than a year led a small team tasked with acquiring shares in Daimler. By using Hong Kong shell companies, derivatives, bank financing and carefully structured share options, Li Shufu kept the plan under wraps until he could, at a stroke, become Daimler’s single largest shareholder. The result was a $9 billion investment that skirted disclosure rules requiring investors to notify German authorities if their share of voting rights in a company passed 3 percent, and then 5 percent. Because of the way the stake was built, there is no indication that Geely breached those rules.





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