The sale of a majority stake in Lotus to Chinese automotive heavyweight Geely has now been officially completed. Geely owns 51% of the company, having taken control from previous Lotus owners DRB-Hicom. Malaysian group Etika owns the other 49%.
In May 2017 news emerged that Lotus was being bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the owners of Volvo and the London Taxi Company. The deep-pocketed conglomerate bought a 49.9% stake in Proton from its previous keepers DRB-Hicom for 460.3 million ringgit ($107.37 million), including a 170.3 million ringgit cash injection.
In turn, it also takes a 51% controlling stake in Lotus, bought for £100 million, according to DRB-Hicom managing director Syed Faisal Albar. That includes both Lotus Cars and the Lotus Engineering consultancy firm, which works with most car makers on a behind-the-scenes consulting basis.
Jean-Marc Gales remains Lotus CEO, working with a newly created five-person board of management – featuring three members from Geely and two from Etika.
Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010, with an initial investment of $11 billion. Since then the Swedish car maker has seemingly flourished, with capital for new platforms, a new engine family and autonomous technology.
Geely’s chief financial officer Daniel Donghui Li who is also the new board chairman of Lotus said:
“With the transaction completion we now look forward to working with our partners to develop the Lotus brand into a globally competitive brand and a well-recognized leader in the sports car market. We are extremely confident that Lotus will go above and beyond the expectations of the automotive industry and consumer base in the near future.”
Geely owns Volvo, London Taxi Company, Lynk & Co. and now having acquired Proton & Lotus the Chinese automobile giant have access to sophisticated automotive technologies such as Volvo’s modular CMA platform and Lotus suspensions and via Proton will enter ASEAN markets quite effectively.