China's Geely Denies Report It Cut Daimler Stake by Half

(Bloomberg) -- Zhejiang Geely Holding Group denied selling any of its 9.7 percent stake in Daimler AG, following a Bloomberg report that the holding had been cut in half.

Geely, in a statement on its website, said that as a long-term investor in Daimler and its largest single shareholder, it has no plans to cut its holding in Daimler and that the holding remains unchanged.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely had cut the stake in Daimler AG by more than half, less than a year after making what was the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese automaker, citing people familiar with the matter.

The people didn’t say who the new owners of the shares were. The amount being unloaded represented a 5.4 percent stake in Daimler, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The stake would be worth 2.85 billion euros ($3.3 billion) based on Daimler’s closing share price Thursday.

Morgan Stanley disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday a 5.4 percent stake in Daimler. The bank is holding the shares on behalf of others, one person said, declining to identify those parties. Morgan Stanley was one of the banks that helped Geely finance the original transaction, people familiar with the matter said after it was announced last February.

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