BERLIN (Reuters) – The purchase by Chinese carmaker Geely (0175.HK) of an almost 10 percent stake in Germany’s Daimler (DAIGn.DE) is a company decision and there is no need for Berlin to take action, a German government spokesman said on Sunday.
Chinese investors in German technology firms have tended to take a consensual approach, engaging in long consultation with stakeholders, but Geely’s Chairman Li Shufu quietly amassed his stake and announced it in a single blow on Friday.
”The German government is aware of the acquisition of 9.7 percent of Daimler shares by the Chinese firm Geely,“ said the government spokesman. It is a company decision.”
“Due to the character of the investment as a minority stake, there is no need to act in terms of either competition rules or foreign investment rules.”
Geely says it wants an alliance with Daimler, which is developing electric and self-driving vehicles and is the only German carmaker not to be controlled by a family, to respond to the challenge from new rivals such as Tesla (TSLA.O) and Uber.
Geely managers are now preparing to engage with the Mercedes maker and the government.
A meeting with Daimler executives in Stuttgart is planned as early as Monday, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, and Geely managers also hope to meet top government officials in Berlin.
Daimler and the German government declined to comment on any possible meetings.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers and Georgina Prodhan
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