Geely Holding Group: Who are they?

Chinese automobile maker Geely will hold a 49.9 per cent stake in Proton, in an expansion of its portfolio which also includes Volvo and London Taxi Company.PHOTO: REUTERS

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Hangzhou, China.

It manufactures and markets automobiles, and has a portfolio that includes about 30 vehicle models. It offers products through dealers and service stations in China, as well as through sales and service outlets internationally.

Chinese owner Li Shufu,53, started out making refrigerator parts and turned a bankrupt state-owned manufacturer into China’s biggest privately owned carmaker. 

Geely, whose name means "auspicious" or "lucky" in Chinese, bought Swedish brand Volvo in 2010, and also owns black cab maker London Taxi Company.

The Chinese company has in recent years been targeting Europe with an alternative fuel model, and wants to be seen as a maker of affordable high-tech cars. Buying a 49.9 per cent stake in Malaysia's largest carmaker will help it set up its push into South-east Asia.

Mr Li is also eyeing Lotus Cars, which could complete his ambition to create a portfolio of international brands at different price points.

The billionaire, who is the son of rice farmers, is also seeking to expand his business to the finance sector. Earlier this month Geely became the largest shareholder in Danish bank Saxo by buying around 30 per cent of its capital.

He currently has a net worth of US$7.1 billion (S$9.8 billion) and is ranked 30th on China's rich list, according to Forbes.