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高盛将向吉利汽车投资2.5亿美元

来源:天星 更新日期:2009-09-21 点击:

Goldman Sachs To Invest In Geely

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-managed private equity fund is investing about $250 million in Geely Holding Group's Hong Kong-listed arm to fund the Chinese auto maker's growth ambitions, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. is expected to announce the investment by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners on Monday, a Geely executive said.

The Hong Hong-listed Geely arm plans to use the money to fund its working capital as it expands. That could free up capital for its parent to bid for Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit.

People familiar with the matter have said Ford was likely to pick Geely Holding soon to take over Volvo -- a sign of Geely's global ambitions. Geely Auto confirmed earlier this month that its parent was bidding for Volvo with an unnamed state-owned investment company.

The Goldman Sachs fund is investing in convertible bonds and warrants that will give it a minority stake in the Chinese auto maker, according to the person familiar with the matter. The exact size of the stake will vary depending on whether the company hits certain targets and Goldman decides to exercise the warrants. An investment of $250 million represents around 15% of the listed arm's market capitalization of over $1.6 billion, according to FactSet Research Systems Inc., a research firm.

Geely said Wednesday that it planned to issue convertible bonds and warrants without naming Goldman Sachs Capital Partners as the buyer.

International investors have in recent months backed major Chinese auto makers, betting they may become global champions.

The Goldman fund's $250 million investment is chunky compared with typical private equity deals in China. Most deals are below $100 million because Chinese business owners rarely give up control and deals bigger than $100 million require central government approval. Private equity funds in recent months have made more investments in Chinese listed companies that need capital. Those deals don't require the same level of government approvals and due diligence needed for investments in unlisted companies.

The auto makers are looking to survive a possible wave of consolidation in China's domestic market by snatching up smaller players at home and buying into distressed brands overseas in order to expand sales both domestically and outside the country.

A unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed last year to pay $232 million for a 10% stake in electric carmaker BYD Co. The electric car and battery maker's shares have soared this year to over HK$63 (US$8.13) a share from the HK$8 a share Berkshire paid. Earlier this year, Chery Automobile Co. secured backing from yuan-denominated private equity funds managed by CDH Investments and Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co.

Hangzhou-based Geely has made substantial improvement in the engineering and quality of its vehicles since 2006 under Frank Zhao, the company's product development director, who joined Geely from the U.S. auto maker now known as Chrysler Group LLC via a separate Chinese auto maker.

据一位知情人士透露,高盛集团(Goldman Sachs Group)管理的一家私募基金将向吉利控股集团(Geely Holding Group)旗下香港上市子公司投资约2.5亿美元,以资助这家中国汽车厂商的增长计划。

吉利汽车控股有限公司(Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.,简称:吉利汽车)一位管理人士表示,预计公司周一将宣布Goldman Sachs Capital Partners的投资计划。

这或将使得吉利控股集团得以腾出资金,竞标收购福特汽车(Ford Motor)旗下子公司沃尔沃(Volvo)。

知情人士此前表示,福特汽车可能很快就会选择将沃尔沃出售给吉利控股──这笔交易是吉利全球扩张雄心的一个迹象。本月早些时候,吉利汽车证实其母公司正携手一家未具名国有投资公司竞标收购沃尔沃。

据这位知情人士透露,高盛旗下这只基金正投资购买吉利汽车的可转换债券和认购权证,从而将获得吉利汽车的少数股权。具体的持股规模将取决于吉利汽车能否达到某些目标以及高盛是否决定执行权证。据市场研究公司FactSet Research Systems估算,2.5亿美元的投资额约占吉利汽车超过16亿美元市值的15%。

吉利汽车上周三表示,计划发售可转换债券和认购权证,但并没有透露Goldman Sachs Capital Partners是投资方。

最近几个月,国际投资者纷纷转向中国主要汽车厂商,认为这些中国公司可能会成为全球汽车市场的领头羊。

与投资中国的典型私募交易相比,高盛基金此次2.5亿美元的投资额颇为醒目。大多数此类交易的投资额都低于1亿美元,因为中国企业所有者很少让出控股权,而且规模超过1亿美元的交易需要获得中国中央政府的批准。最近几个月,私募基金向需要资本的中国上市公司进行了更多的投资。这些交易并不需要与投资非上市公司同等级别的政府审批和尽职调查。

中国汽车厂商目前正在努力吞并国内规模较小的汽车品牌,收购陷入困境的海外品牌,意在同时提振国内外的汽车销量,以便在中国汽车市场可能出现的一波整合潮中生存下来。

去年,巴菲特(Warren Buffett)的伯克希尔哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway)旗下一家子公司同意斥资2.32亿美元,收购中国电动车和电池厂商比亚迪股份有限公司 (Byd Co.,简称:比亚迪股份) 10%的股权。今年以来,比亚迪股份的股价一路飙升至超过63港元(约合8.13美元),而伯克希尔当时支付的价格是每股8港元。今年早些时候,奇瑞汽车有限公司(Chery Automobile Co.)获得了鼎晖投资(CDH Investments)和渤海产业投资基金管理公司(Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co.)管理的人民币计价私募基金的投资。

自2006年赵福全加盟吉利汽车负责产品研发以来,吉利汽车的工程设计和汽车质量都取得了显著提高。加入吉利之前,赵福全曾效力于美国汽车厂商克莱斯勒(Chrysler)(如今的克莱斯勒集团有限责任公司(Chrysler Group LLC))以及另外一家中国汽车厂商。

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