(Yicai Global) March 9 -- Daimler AG has strengthened its partnership with the new energy vehicle unit of Chinese state-owned carmaker BAIC Motor Corp. with the acquisition of a 3.93 percent stake.
The German firm completed the deal for a stake in BAIC Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. through its Greater China investment arm, Yicai Global learned.
BAIC BJEV is expected to list on A-share market through a backdoor listing this year with a valuation of CNY 28.85 billion (USD4.55 billion), and Daimler's shareholding is part of its listing plan.
"The investment in BJEV marks yet another milestone in the strong cooperation between Daimler and BAIC for new energy vehicles in China, and it underlines our commitment to the further development of electric mobility," said Daimler Executive Vice President Hubertus Troska.
The acquisition follows Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.'s USD9 billion deal last week to take a 9.69 percent stake in Daimler as part of efforts to further its own technical know-how in the NEV field. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at the time that further cooperation between the two parties would require the approval and support of partner BAIC.
Daimler and BAIC have a long history of cooperation, setting up a joint venture as early as 2005, with a focus on vehicle production, sales and after-sales service in mainland China. Daimler sold 600,000 Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars in China last year, representing a company milestone for single-market sales globally.
Just after Geely announced last week's investment, BAIC announced it would jointly invest more than CNY11.9 billion with Daimler to create a new luxury vehicle production base in China for their JV for several models including NEVs.