Geely buys into Swedish truck maker AB Volvo to reinforce globalisation drive

Geely snaps up 8.7 percent of AB Volvo, maker of Volvo Trucks, from private equity firm Cevian Capital.

The deal makes Geely the largest single shareholder in Volvo and the second biggest in terms of voting rights.

The move represents another step by Geely - China's most-acquisitive auto maker - to become a global player. And along with Volvo Cars, it previous year launched a new brand, Lynk & Co., to sell mid-priced vehicles positioned between Geely's lower-priced vehicles and Volvo.

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Volvo Car Group is already under the ownership of China's Geely Holding.

"Given our experience with Volvo Car Group, we recognize and value the proud Scandinavian history and culture, leading market positions, breakthrough technologies and environmental capabilities of AB Volvo", Geely Chairman Li Shufu said in a statement as the deal was announced.

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. Geely and Cevian declined to disclose the exact value of the transaction.

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He said he is hoping that Geely's expertise in the domestic market and its skills in building electric and autonomous vehicles would help AB Volvo to expand. AB Volvo is now leading the industry into a new era. It purchased The London Electric Cab Co. along with majority stakes in PROTON Holdings and Lotus Cars.

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. The Volvo Group itself has largely been turned around in the 11 years, for which Cevian has been a shareholder with the Swedish activist making a profit of about €2 billion (Rs 15,288 crore) on its stake. Industrivarden owns mostly A shares and controls 22.8 percent of the votes.

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  • Kelly Blake