Beijing Auto in talks to buy Lifan.
May 5, 2009 - Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Co is in talks to acquire Chongqing Lifan Automobile Co, Lifan Group's auto making subsidiary, the Economic Observer reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the deal.
Commenting on the talks, Yin Mingshan, president of Chongqing Lifan Holdings, said that "Lifan welcomes partnership negotiations with any auto groups provided that the partnership allows Lifan to retain its own brand and voting rights on the board."
Mr. Yin did not specify the details of any potential deal but said Lifan is always open to acquisitions and mergers.
Last year American International Group bought a 13.5% stake in Lifan Group for $90 million, making AIG the second largest shareholder in the group.
Beijing Auto, a Daimler AG partner, is the parent of truck maker Beiqi Foton Motor Co. It has decided to make itself an auto giant group with sales revenue to reach 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion) in 2009. To achieve this goal, one of the best ways is to merge and acquire the local, national and even global auto assets.
Established in 1992, Lifan is China's largest privately-owned automobile and motorcycle manufacturer based in Chongqing. In 2008 Lifan achieved sales revenue of 13 billion yuan.