China’s Geely Holding Group have taken a 51% stake in Group Lotus along with Malaysia’s Etika Automotive who have purchased 49% of the company. In a deal worth £100m, the 2 companies have purchased Lotus from DRB-Hicom who have also sold 49.9% of Proton to Geely.
Li Shufu, the Chinese billionaire owner of Geely has been seeking to form an automotive company with a global presence, already having acquired Volvo in 2010 who have gone from strength to strength under their tenure. Geely’s revenue for 2016 was in excess of $30bn and in total they produced 778,896 cars during the year. Etika Automotive is controlled by Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar, also of DRB-Hicom.
Mr. Daniel Donghui Li, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Geely Holding Group, said:
With Proton and Lotus joining the Geely Group portfolio of brands we strengthen our global footprint and develop a beachhead in South East Asia. Geely Holding is full of confidence for the future of Proton. We will fully respect the brand’s history and culture to restore Proton to its former glory with the support of Geely’s innovative technology and management resources. Reflecting our experience accumulated through Volvo Car’s revitalization, we also aim to unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development by expanding and accelerating the rolling out of new products and technologies.