PUTRAJAYA — May 24, 2017: DRB-Hicom Berhad has agreed to sell 49.9 per cent of Proton Holdings to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.
DRB-Hicom currently owns 100 per cent of the manufacturer of the first national car.
The agreement signed today was witnessed by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
The deal will enable Proton to tap into Geely’s vast range of platforms and power-trains and will also enable Proton to have access to markets of the Chinese car maker, as well as right-hand drive markets in Southeast Asia, said DRB-Hicom in a statement.
DRB-Hicom Group Managing Director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the Proton brand would remain present and would grow significantly with the new foreign strategic partner on board.
“Our intention was always to ensure the revitalisation of the Proton name plate. It was Malaysia’s first national car brand and has more than 30 years of history. This deal will be the catalyst to elevate a brand that Malaysians resonate with,” said Syed Faisal.
Geely’s Group Executive Vice-President and Chief Finance Official Daniel Donghui Li said: “With Proton and Lotus joining the Geely Group portfolio of brands, we have strengthened our global foot print and developed a beach head in Southeast Asia.”
He added that Geely had full confidence in Proton and would fully respect the brand’s history and culture to restore Proton to its former glory with the support of Geely’s innovative technology and management resources.
“We also aim to unleash the full potential of Lotus Cars and bring it into a new phase of development, thanks to our experience accumulated through Volvo Car’s revitalisation,” said Li.
The deal will see Proton disposing the entire equity in British carmaker Lotus to Geely and Etika Automotive Sdn. Bhd., which will see the group exit from the sports car segment.
Geely, which also owns Volvo Car Corporation and The London Taxi Company, is one of the leading passenger vehicle car makers in China.
It already has facilities across the globe, including 16 manufacturing plants, seven design studios and five research and development centres.
The deal with Proton will offer Geely access into the key Asean market and also R&D and manufacturing presence in the region.
“Both parties expect to sign the definitive agreement in July,” said the statement. — Bernama