Japanese car-maker Suzuki Motor Corp has agreed after more than a year of negotiations to take a strategic slice of Chinese car-maker Changan Automobile Co. Suzuki will take up half the 250 million B shares sold by Changan at a premium to the issue price, giving the Japanese firm a 16.5 per cent stake in the company, sources said. 'Suzuki will pay more as it is buying a big part of the sale, although it originally asked for more shares,' the sources said, adding Changan wanted the shares to be widely held by other investors. The issue price will be decided after the roadshow later this month. Changan aims to raise between 800 million yuan (HK$744.4 million) and one billion yuan by selling one-third of the company. The sources said the accord was clinched in Beijing recently, effectively giving a new lease of life to Changan's share sale, which has been delayed since July as talks with Suzuki failed at that time. Changan, based in Chongqing, Sichuan province, is Suzuki's Chinese joint-venture partner in Chongqing Suzuki Automobile, which makes Alto model cars. The pact marks an increasing link between the two companies and helps pave the way for future development of new models. 'It marks a widening in the collaboration between the two companies,' one source said. The deal is one in a string of ventures in which foreign car firms have been taking strategic slices of mainland firms in the sector. Last year, Ford Motor Co bought 80 per cent of light-truck maker Jiangling Motors Corp's B shares, giving the United States manufacturer a 20 per cent stake in the firm. Proceeds of Changan's B-share sale were used to fund a 2.8 billion yuan expansion plan, ratified by the State Council and included in China's latest economic plan. The programme - which will catapult its production capacity to 150,000 cars from 10,000 - will also be funded by the State Development Bank, which will provide loans of between 800 million yuan and one billion yuan. With Guizhou Aerospace, Changan is one of the country's two biggest makers of small cars. It also makes minivans and lorries. Changan holds 51 per cent of the Chongqing Suzuki Automobile joint venture, with Suzuki 35 per cent and Japanese company Nissho Iwai the remainder.