After struggling for years, Malaysian-Government backed DBR-Hicom, the owner of both Proton and Lotus, has agreed to terms in selling stakes of both brands to Geely.
Under the agreement, to be finalized in July, Geely will take a 49.9-percent stake in Proton and a 51-percent stake in Lotus. DBR-Hicom will sell off the rest of Lotus in the process as well.
Further, Geely will become the exclusive automotive partner with Proton, which currently has partnerships with Suzuki and Honda.
Geely hopes the acquisition of Proton will give it a beachhead into the Southeast Asian market, which even Proton has struggled with outside of Malaysia. Geely also says it is fully committed to turning around both brands.
DBR-Hicom has been looking for a buyer for Proton and Lotus since 2015, after a cash infusion from the Malaysian Government required the search for one.
It has been reported that PSA, RNA (one wonders how many brands they need!), and Suzuki had also been in the running.
With this purchase, Geely will now six brands including Geely, Volvo, Lynk & Co., Kandi, Proton, and Lotus. Geely also owns the London Taxi Company.
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