February 23, 2018 / 5:15 PM / a month ago

China's Geely buying $9 billion stake in Daimler: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co is buying a stake worth about 7.5 billion euros ($9.22 billion) in Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) to become the largest investor in the German automaker, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen on a vehicle displayed at Geely Auto's booth during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Geely has been building up a stake of just under 10 percent through purchases of Daimler’s shares in the stock market in recent weeks, according to the report on Friday.

The Chinese automaker could announce the transaction in coming days, Bloomberg reported.

Zhejiang Geely owns Volvo, as well as the maker of London’s black cabs and last year acquired a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton.

Following the potential deal, Zhejiang Geely would surpass Kuwait Investment Authority, as Daimler’s top shareholder.

    Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund owned about 6.8 percent of Daimler’s shares as Sept. 30, according to Thomson Reuters data.

    Daimler declined to comment while Zhejiang Geely did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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