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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford, Geely set to sign Volvo accord today

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Ford, Geely set to sign Volvo accord today

March 28, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, China's largest private-run carmaker, will sign an agreement today with Ford Motor Co. to buy the U.S. carmaker's Volvo car unit, a Volvo spokesman said.

Geely and Ford plan to announce details of the deal -- China's biggest overseas auto purchase -- at a news conference in the west coast Swedish city of Gothenburg at 9:20 a.m. EDT.

"This is to talk about the stock purchase agreement between Ford and Geely," Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said Saturday.

The deal will not be closed for a number of months, probably in the third quarter, he said.

Geely Chairman Li Shufu will be in Sweden to sign the agreement, as will Volvo Cars CEO Stephen Odell and Ford CFO Lewis Booth.

Geely, parent of Geely Automobile Holdings, was already named by Ford as the preferred bidder for the Swedish unit in October 2009.

The deal will help free up cash for the No. 2 U.S. automaker and enable it to focus on its core Ford brand as it claws its way out of the industry's steepest downturn in almost three decades.

The takeover underscores China's arrival as a major force in the global auto industry and ends two years of talks over the sale of Volvo -- the last to be sold of Ford's former premier group, which also included Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.

The Volvo acquisition will offer Geely -- China's number 10 carmaker -- access to the brand and technology it needs and give it a head start over its much bigger state-owned rivals, such as Dongfeng Motor Group Co.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100328/COPY01/303279991/1257#ixzz0jTraUFHX

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