(Yicai Global) June 19 -- A new Chinese investor has signed an agreement with Chinese automakers Qoros Auto Co., Chery Automobile Co. and Quantum LLC, a subsidiary of Qoros' foreign parent company Kenon Holdings [NYSE:KEN], to acquire a controlling interest in Qoros for USD956 million (CNY6.5 billion), Kenon Holdings said in a statement June 16.
Qoros did not have a controlling shareholder before the deal as Chery and Quantum each held half of its shares.
Baoneng Holding (Group), which made headlines last year for its involvement in an ownership battle at leading Chinese real estate developer China Vanke Co. [SHE:000002], is the new investor and has agreed to buy a 51-percent stake in the Shanghai-based carmaker and branch out into the new-energy vehicle market, one report claimed.
"Baoneng's professional team has carried out several due diligence investigations, and the negotiations are now at a critical stage," the report said citing an informed source.
Ning Shuyong, deputy executive president of marketing and communications at Qoros, denied the alleged share acquisition by Baoneng Group.
"Qoros is looking for investors to further develop its new energy strategy," Ning said. "We are open to any investors, but the rumored deal with Baoneng is not true. The media has over-interpreted the information." Ning did not specify the name of the new investor.
"[Qoros'] foreign shareholder has sold all the shares it owned," one report said, but information collected by Yicai Global suggests otherwise.
Qoros Auto was founded in 2007 and produces vehicles in Changshu in eastern China's Jiangsu province. The firm's initial production capacity was 150,000 units a year, and its maximum production capacity is projected to be 300,000. The company has product design, technology and engineering research and development centers in Munich and Shanghai. Despite employing highly-qualified design, technology and engineering professionals from all around the world, Qoros' sales results have stagnated in recent years, making its decision to introduce a new investor unsurprising.
Shenzhen Baoneng Investment Group is Baoneng Holding (Group) Ltd.'s key enterprise, public information shows. Baoneng Holding Group was incorporated in 2000 with CNY300 million of initial capital, and Yao Zhenhua is its sole shareholder, the group's business registration record shows.