(Yicai Global) Dec. 16 -- A group of corporate and entrepreneurial investors have signed a deal to acquire a 22.4 percent stake in Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Ltd., a Chinese lithium battery maker and new energy technology provider for CNY3 billion (USD432 million).
After a failed bid by Gree Electric Appliances Inc. [SZ:000651] to acquire the equity of Zhuhai Yinlong was rejected by its shareholders, Dong Mingzhu, the president and chairwoman of Gree stepped in and chose to personally invest in the company.
She also enlisted four enterprises to invest including Dalian Wanda Group, whose chairman, Wang Jianlin is China's richest man and a subsidiary of e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. [NYSE:JD].
On Dec. 15, the four partners, Dalian Wanda Group, China International Marine Containers, Beijing Yan Zhao Hui Jin International Investment Limited , Jiangsu Jingdong Bangneng Investment Management Co., as well as Dong Mingzhu herself, signed a share increasing agreement with Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Ltd. to jointly buy another CNY3 billion of shares and acquire 22.4 percent of the company's equity.
Wang Jianlin was at the signing in person, saying "this investment is not a sponsorship but from the ground up and proof positive that entrepreneurs will always seize chances first, for is such opportunities are known to all, they will only bring nothing."
Asked why he had chosen to invest CNY500 million in the new energy vehicle company with Gree's president, he said "First of all we are friends, I trust her, I believe her." When he was asked if he had looked into the background of the target company, Wang quipped "Dong Mingzhu has already done all the investigations so I don't need to."
Compared to the new energy vehicle sector, Wang expects more opportunities in Zhuhai Yinlong's energy storage technologies. "Zhuhai Yinlong owns two core businesses, electric vehicles and energy storage technologies. This company's market value will be doubled provided their energy storage technologies are commercialized," he said.
A subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. also engaged in the deal. "We will introduce new-energy vehicles into JD's logistics system and will develop special logistics vehicles with better safety, stability and durability upon cooperation with Zhuhai Yinlong," said Xiong Qingyun, senior vice president of JD.com Inc., who was also present at the signing.
Gree initially planned to acquire Zhuhai Yinlong outright in August this year with CNY13 billion in stock. After a controversial shareholder meeting, which was clandestinely filmed, where Dong shouted at board members, Gree formally announced in November they would not pursue the deal.