DETROIT, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. continues to expand its global automotive holdings by acquiring a 9.7-percent stake in Daimler AG for 9.2 billion dollars.
The purchase, which was revealed in a regulatory filing by Daimler AG Friday, makes Geely chairman, Li Shufu, Daimler's largest single shareholder ahead of the Kuwait Investment Authority, which holds 6.8 percent. Nearly 71 percent of Daimler shares are held by institutional holders.
The purchase by Geely was not the company's first attempt to gain a stake in Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz cars and a variety of other vehicles.
According to Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper, Geely made an offer of 4.5 billion dollars for a 5-percent stake in Daimler but was rebuffed because the company wanted a discount rate on the stock. Daimler allegedly told Shufu and Geely they could buy the shares in the open market.
The German newspaper suggested the acquisition was designed to form an alliance against Apple, Google and Amazon on autonomous and connected vehicles.
They're going to have to hurry as Waymo received approval to run a fleet of "robo-cabs" in a Phoenix, Arizona, suburb without backup drivers. Prior to the approval, which it received earlier this month, the company had to employ emergency drivers to take control of the vehicle in the event a problem arose.
Geely, which owns Volvo and a controlling stake in Lotus, is currently developing a brand of electric vehicles and hybrids for the Chinese market through Lynk & Co., using Volvo components and technology.
The vehicles will feature dramatically different exteriors and will be offered as part of a car-sharing arrangement to be announced.
Geely, which has long attempted to bring a Chinese-branded vehicle to the U.S., is best-known for reviving the Volvo brand. The Swedish-Chinese brand has enjoyed a renaissance since Geely acquired the brand several years ago.