How China’s Geely sought to buy FCA
Chinese automaker Geely made quite the splash recently when their billionaire Chairman, Li Shufu, purchased a nearly 10% stake in German automaker Daimler for a reported $9 billion. Shufu did not attend the auto show in Geneva this week as he lays low after the deal with Daimler. He typically does not attend auto shows outside of Asia, so his no-show this week was not expected.
The latest deal brings to mind the meeting that Shufu had last year when he met with Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s (FCA) John Elkann. The meeting was not made public but surfaced soon after it was held and now we know why. Shufu was looking to make a deal with FCA as he sought to expand his automobile holdings outside of Geely. FCA has been looking to make its position in Asia a stronger one and it has not been reported why a deal was not reached. The deal would have potentially been a larger one that the deal with Daimler as FCA is a larger player in the U.S. and Europe, with some speculating that it was for $22 billion.
Either way, Geely was the number two player in automobile sales in China in 2017. The automaker would undoubtedly continue to make waves in the industry. Li Shufu has spent $12.5 billion in acquisitions since last May and speculation is that he is not done. Given that he had allegedly been ready to spend nearly twice that in one transaction, there is little doubt that he is not done.