Stellantis, Europe’s second biggest car manufacturer, is closing in on an agreement to buy a 20% stake in Chinese EV specialist Zhejiang Leapmotor Technologies, in a deal estimated to be worth upwards of $1 billion. The Dutch headquartered carmaker, which was formed through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot S.A. in 2021, is currently in final talks with the Hangzhou car manufacturer and could even close a deal within the coming days, Bloomberg reported.
If completed, Stellantis’ purchase could cost the carmaker upwards of $1 billion, with shares in Hong Kong-listed Leapmotor having surged 25% in 2023 so far. Leapmotor currently has a market cap of $5.4 billion. Any deal could see Stellantis
which owns major brands including Vauxhall, Jeep and Alfa Romeo, form a joint-venture with Leapmotor, that would let the Dutch firm manufacture and sell Leapmotor’s cars outside China. A joint venture company with Leapmotor, which was first founded in 2015, would also give Stellantis access to the Hangzhou firm’s parts and certain technologies. The negotiations, which could still fall through, come as the world’s top carmakers are increasingly looking towards the Chinese EV market in their efforts to capitalize on the world’s second biggest economy. In July, the world’s top car manufacturer Volkswagen outlined plans to pay $700 million for a 5% stake in XPeng Motors with a view to developing two new cars for middle class Chinese consumers by 2026. Stellantis has previously struggled to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. In Nov. 2022, …