Khodrocar - A stake of that size would be worth $4.5 billion at current market prices. Although Daimler declined the offer, it told Geely it was welcome to buy shares in the open market, the sources added.
Carmakers in China have embarked on a flurry of dealmaking, as they scramble to boost production of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles ahead of tough new quotas to be imposed by Beijing, which wants to reduce urban smog and lower the country’s reliance on oil.
People with knowledge of Geely’s thinking said the company was keen to access Daimler’s electric car battery technology and wanted to establish an electric car joint venture in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Geely, which also owns Swedish car maker Volvo, is still hopeful it can secure a deal in some form over the coming weeks, they added.
The two automakers met in Beijing in recent weeks at Geely’s behest. There, the Chinese firm, formally known as Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, offered to take a stake of between 3 percent and 5 percent if Daimler would issue new shares at a discount, the sources said.
It was not immediately clear what kind of discount for the shares Geely had in mind or whether Geely was interested in buying the shares on the open market.
A spokesman for Geely declined to comment. A spokesman for Daimler said the company was "very happy with our shareholder structure at present”, but added that it would welcome new investors with a long-term interest in the company.
Shares in Daimler were up 1 percent in early Wednesday trade, in line with the broader market.
Geely, which has a market value of some $32 billion, is the leading domestic brand in China with a 5 percent market share, according to an analysis by Nomura Securities.