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Published - Thursday, 2 November 2017

Geely agrees to buy majority stake in Lotus
China’s largest privately-owned automotive group, Zhejiang Geely Holding, has agreed to a deal that will hand it the majority stake in Lotus.
The Chinese group – which also owns the London Taxi Company and Volvo – will also take a 49.9 per cent share in Lotus’ current parent, Malaysian company Proton. The binding heads of agreement announced on 24th May today is between Geely’s holding company and the current umbrella for Proton/Lotus, DRB-HICOM.
Last Wednesday's announcement to sell 49.9 per cent of Proton and 51 per cent of Lotus from Malaysian hands to Chinese is now just pending regulatory approval, with a definitive agreement expected to be signed during July.
A press release said: “Subject to regulatory approval and the signing of the definitive agreement, this heads of agreement allows Geely Holding to acquire 49.9 per cent of the shares of Proton from DRB and become its exclusive strategic partner. Geely Holding will also acquire a majority share of 51 per cent of Lotus from Proton. Both parties expect to sign the definitive agreement by mid-July 2017.”
The agreement will lay the foundation for Geely Holding and Proton/Lotus to “explore joint synergies in areas such as research and development, manufacturing and market presence”.
The stated goals are to transform both brands using Geely’s significant resources, build Proton into a leading brand across South East Asia and unleash the full potential of cash-starved Hethel.
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