In a statement made today, the Chinese manufacturer said that it had signed a final contract which sees it aquire 49.9 per cent of Proton and 51 per cent of Lotus.
Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group agreed on Friday to purchase stakes of 49.9% in Proton Holdings of Malaysia and 51% in Lotus of the United Kingdom, both owned by Malaysian automotive group DRB-Hicom, for a total of $235 million.
This was derived based on a cash injection of RM170.3 million by Geely and an implied value of RM290 million for the Boyue model platform.
He said Proton would relocate its Shah Alam operations to Tanjung Malim, adding that DRB-Hicom would undertake the construction of a test track facility and a R&D test track for Proton at the new location.
DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the 49.9% acquisition by Zhejiang Geely, which also owns Sweden's Volvo Cars, London Taxi Company, Lynk & Co and the Geely Auto portfolio of vehicle brands, will only be completed upon receiving regulatory approvals from the relevant authorities. Our partnership with DRB-HICOM will enable Proton to become the industry leader in Malaysia and a top three brand in Southeast Asia.
He believed that by partnering Geely, a company with the right credentials, committed leadership and a proven track record, Proton could expand its footprint across Asean auto market.
Under the deal, DRB-Hicom is also selling its entire stake in British sports automaker Lotus, with Geely taking a majority interest at 51 per cent for £51 million (S$90 million).
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DRB-HICOM will retain 50.1 percent stake in Proton.
"When they have turned profitable and have sustainable development plans and products, then they can plan to export", Li said, when asked if Proton would export to China. "We will work together to make the most of our respective strengths".
In expressing his confidence, Najib said, Proton would have the ability and resources to turn itself around and become an example of Malaysian success, without needing handouts from the government.
"For Proton, we hope to help gain back market share in Malaysia, and also expand into Asean", he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Geely is the parent company of Volvo, where it has carried out a successful turnaround of the business since acquiring it in 2010.
"For over the last ten years, Geely has quietly but successfully emerged as a major player in the automotive market".