Geely’s Chinese Billionaire Mulls Greater Aston Martin Stake

Chinese billionaire Li Shufu is considering boosting his stake in Aston Martin over time to foster collaboration with the struggling luxury carmaker, according to people familiar with the matter.

Li, whose Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired a 7.6% stake in the British marque in September, is interested in raising that shareholding close to 10% in near future, the people said, asking not to be identified as discussions are private. Such a move could pave the way for more sharing of technology and electrification know-how.

Related: Geely Acquires 7.6% Stake in Aston Martin

Geely’s attempt to gain too much control could run into opposition from existing shareholders including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. However according to a company statement, Geely currently has no plans to raise its stake in Aston Martin. A representative for Aston Martin declined to comment.

Once touted as a peer to Ferrari, Aston Martin has suffered a number of setbacks since its initial public offering in 2018. With dwindling cash and rising debt, the manufacturer sought a rescue in 2020 from Stroll, who injected cash and forged closer ties with Mercedes-Benz Group.

Related: Aston Martin Unveils New Logo and Slogan

At the time of the investment in September, Geely said it saw potential opportunities to collaborate with Aston Martin. A move on the manufacturer synonymous with James Bond films may precipitate Geely seeking to tap into the carmaker’s brand appeal and expand into new markets.

Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and a plethora of shareholdings in major automotive companies including Daimler AG, also took control of British automotive marque Lotus in 2017. Earlier this year, Lotus unveiled Eletre electric SUV that will be built in China and spearhead a broader model lineup with a plan to boost production to 150,000 cars, up from fewer than 2,000.

Source: Auto News

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