Geely Automotive's chairman Li Shufu made headlines last week by dropping $9 billion for 9.69% stake in Daimler AG, making him the biggest shareholder in Mercedes-Benz's parent company. This follows a trend by Geely in buying automakers (Volvo in 2010, a 51 percent stake in Lotus last year). But a new report from Bloomberg reveals Shufu had his eye on a possible bigger prize.
Last year, Shufu approached Fiat Chrysler Automobiles about "a potential takeover". According to people familiar with the matter, Geely and FCA held informal talks. Nothing would come to fruition however as the two disagreed on how much FCA would be worth after the completion of the current five-year plan - expected to end this year. At the time of Bloomberg's report, FCA had a market cap value of 27 billion euros (about $33 billion).
FCA and Geely declined to comment on Bloomberg's report.
Back in August, Automotive News broke the news that various Chinese automakers were interested in possibly acquiring FCA. In fact, one unnamed automaker submitted a bid, but was rejected by FCA for being to low. At the time, Automotive News didn't mention the automaker in question, but Bloomberg's report possibly puts Geely as the one.
Later that month, Chinese automaker Great Wall said they were interested in purchasing Jeep, although plans for this would fall apart.