TATA H 5

TATA H 5

Volkswagen in final talks to seal biggest M&A deals in China EV sector

A worker wears a protective mask at the final assembly line for the electric Volkswagen model ID.3 in Zwickau, Germany. REUTERS

Volkswagen AG is in final talks to seal its largest investment deals with Chinese electric vehicle (EV) firms, two sources said, as the German automaker accelerates its push into the world’s largest market for environmentally friendlier cars.

The firm is poised to buy 50 percent of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holding, the parent of EV partner JAC Motors, for at least 3.5 billion yuan ($491 million), the people said on condition of anonymity as the matter was private.

It is also set to become the biggest shareholder of EV battery maker Guoxuan High-tech Co Ltd, the people said, adding both deals could be announced as early as Friday.

Volkswagen declined to comment on the deals, details of which are reported here for the first time. JAC and Guoxuan declined to comment.

The deals highlight how Volkswagen is keen to retain its status as the largest foreign automaker in China even as government virus-busting measures decimate sales, in the face of encroaching rivals such as Tesla Inc which last year became the first foreign automaker to wholly own a car plant.

A Volkswagen electric ID car is seen during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China. REUTERS

At the end of last year when 25 million vehicles were sold in China — and just before the coronavirus was first reported in December — the government targeted 25 percent of 2025 annual vehicle sales to be made up of new energy vehicles.

The deals would make Volkswagen the latest foreign automaker to increase ownership in China since the government started to relax ownership rules in 2018, with Germany’s BMW AG quick to take control of its main local venture.

Volkswagen target Anhui Jianghuai, based in the eastern city of Hefei, is fully state owned. It counts its core asset as its 25.23 percent stake in JAC — formally Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp Ltd, which has a market value of $1.84 billion.

The Anhui provincial office of the State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission declined to comment.

After completing the deal, Volkswagen plans to invest fresh capital in its 50:50 venture with JAC and build capacity with its modular MEB platform, an architecture enabling efficient production of various EV models, said one of the people.

New cars drive during a ceremony marking start of the production of a new electric Volkswagen model ID.3 in Zwickau, Germany. REUTERS

JAC shares surged by their maximum 10 percent on the news on Wednesday, to trade at their highest level since mid-April last year.

Shanghai-listed JAC last week said its parent planned to bring in a strategic investor, which will not cause change in its control.

Volkswagen’s purchase of a stake in Shenzhen-listed Guoxuan, also based in Hefei, would mark it first direct ownership in a Chinese battery maker.

It plans to buy about 27 percent of Guoxuan mostly via a discounted private share placement as well as from top shareholder Zhuhai Guoxuan Trading Ltd, which holds 18 percent, and founder Li Zhen, who owns 12 percent, said one of the people. Son Li Chen also owns 2.5 percent, showed filings to the stock exchange this month.

Based on Guoxuan’s market capitalisation of $4.3 billion, a 27 percent stake is worth $1.16 billion.

Zhuhai Guoxuan and Li Zhen could not immediately be reached for comment.

A Hyundai Motor’s electric car IONIQ is charged at a electric charging station in Seoul, South Korea. REUTERS

Guoxuan has suspended trading of its stock since May 20 and on Tuesday said Zhuhai Guoxuan and Li Zhen would sell part of their holdings to an unidentified strategic investor. It said it will also issue shares to the investor via a private offering.

The deals have yet to be finalised and investment sizes may change as negotiations continue, the people said.

Volkswagen also has ventures with state-owned China FAW Group Corp Ltd and SAIC Motor Corp Ltd. It aims to sell 1.5 million new energy vehicles a year in China by 2025.

“Volkswagen consistently searches for ways to strengthen and deepen our relationships with local partners,” Volkswagen told Reuters. “In this regard we will explore possible options together with all stakeholders to secure long-term success.” (REUTERS)

8796 Total Views 3 Views Today

Related post

VW seeks open-source approach to refine car operating system

Volkswagen wants to use an open-source approach to refine elements of a software-based car operating system being developed by the carmaker, Christian Senger, its board member responsible for digital services and software, said. With the advent of autonomous driving, carmakers have been forced to link up radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors and connect them to […]

Read More

Incoming Renault CEO says he’s ready for turnaround challenge

Renault’s incoming Chief Executive Luca de Meo said on Friday he was confident the ailing French carmaker, which has just launched major cost cuts, could deliver a positive surprise for investors after a period of faltering sales and margins. The former Volkswagen executive is due to take up the job on July 1, in the […]

Read More

Vans, not glamorous, but key as EU weighs autos mega-merger

Their silhouettes don’t stir dreams of adventure like a sports car or trendy SUV, but vans are a rare source of profit for European carmakers, which is why EU regulators are focused on them as they decide whether to back an industry mega-merger. European competition regulators are worried that Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA’s […]

Read More

Ford’s redesigned F-150 pickup will offer greater connectivity, sleeper seat

Ford Motor Co next week will show the next generation of its brawny F-150 pickup truck that offers a new sleeper-seat feature and over-the-air software updates in a machine Ford is counting on to help pay off coronavirus-related debts. The new F-150, part of the best-selling vehicle line in the United States, accounts for $50 […]

Read More

Tesla wants to start building a new US vehicle plant this summer

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc wants to start building a large vehicle assembly plant in the southwestern United States as early as the third quarter of this year, the company told Texas officials in documents made public this week. But the company is still pitting Texas and Oklahoma against each other in an effort to […]

Read More

Shadow Top Brand Shadow