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The parent company of Geely, a large Chinese automaker, has bought a nearly 10 percent stake in German car and truck maker Daimler, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Among other things, Daimler owns the premium automaker Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks, a commercial truck business.
This makes Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Daimler's largest investor, Bloomberg said. The deal is worth just over $9 billion.
In addition to owning one of China's largest auto brands, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group also owns Swedish automaker Volvo Cars and has a stake in Volvo Trucks, which was split from Volvo Cars in 1999.
"Chinese companies understand that leading European firms lean heavily on the People's Republic for sales and profits," said Michael Dunne, president of Dunne Automotive, a Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm focusing on automotive markets in Asia.
Mercedes-Benz sold more cars in China than any other market last year, some 600,000 cars and SUVs, he said. That's twice what they sold in the U.S.
"While companies like Geely continue to develop their own products for the long-term, they see an opportunity to own some winners right now," he said. "Plus they get access to first-class German technology, which has a reputation in China that is second to none."