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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Geely head says Volvo talks on track; no deal yet

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Geely head says Volvo talks on track; no deal yet

March 5, 2010 06:16 CET

BEIJING (Reuters) -- The parent of China's Geely Automobile Holdings said it has yet to sign an agreement in its ongoing bid for Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo unit, but added that its plan to purchase the brand is on track.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group had previously indicated it expected to reach a formal deal last month, but company chairman Li Shufu said an official agreement had not been signed yet.

"We haven't reached a final agreement so far," Li told reporters on the sidelines of the opening of the National People's Congress in Beijing on Friday.

He added: "Everything is moving as planned."

Geely, China's largest privately owned carmaker, had aimed to complete the purchase of Volvo for up to $2 billion by May, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Geely aimed to nearly double Volvo's annual global production with a new factory in Beijing to pull the Swedish automaker out of the red by 2011, according to a plan put together by the company.

Geely had obtained some of the regulatory approvals it needed to finalize the deal, Li said, without giving details.

Last month, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. withdrew its bid for General Motors Co.'s Hummer brand as the obscure Chinese heavy machinery maker failed to receive clearance from Chinese regulators within the proposed timeframe.

Geely had encountered "no difficulties" regarding the deal, Li said.

Zhejiang-based Geely is researching new energy cars, but no new products were expected within the next one to two years, Li said earlier this week.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100305/ANE/303059991/1131#ixzz0hJzrBbGO

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