Zhejiang Geely Holding Group , one of China’s largest privately-owned carmakers and owner of Sweden’s Volvo Cars, said on Friday that it had taken a nearly 8 per cent stake in British ultra-luxury carmaker Aston Martin. The Hangzhou-based carmaker took a 7.6 per cent stake in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings – the maker of sports cars favoured by fictional secret agent James Bond – for an undisclosed amount, according to a stock exchange filing in London on Friday. The stake purchase came as Aston Martin separately announced that it had completed a £654 million (US$727 million) equity capital raise and added Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as a new investor. The Saudi sovereign fund, which also holds a state in McLaren Automotive, now holds a 18.7 per cent stake in the company, Aston Martin said in a filing . “I am delighted that we have successfully completed this transformational capital raise which significantly strengthens our financial position and enhances our pathway to becoming sustainably free cash flow positive,” Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin’s executive chairman, said in a statement. “We are fully focused on unlocking the significant shareholder value creation potential of this ultra-luxury British performance brand,” he said. Aston Martin’s shares declined 1.7 per cent to £1.23 in midday trading in London after rising as much as 3.6 per cent following Friday’s announcement. Geely shares declined 1.3 per cent to close at HK$10.82 (US$1.38) on Friday in Hong Kong. The stake acquisition by Geely comes just over two months after Aston Martin rejected a £1.3 billion equity investment offer by Geely and Investindustrial Group Holdings. Aston Martin said at the time that it did not believe the proposal created “an attractive funding option or value creation opportunity for existing shareholders” and its board unanimously rejected the offer . Geely has made several offers in recent years to try to buy a stake in Aston Martin and has been seen a potential buyer if the carmaker was ever put up for sale. “We are delighted to announce our investment in Aston Martin and believe that with our well-established track record and technology offerings, Geely Holding can contribute to Aston Martin’s future success,” Geely CEO Daniel Donghui Li said in a statement . “We look forward to exploring potential opportunities to engage and collaborate with Aston Martin as it continues to execute its strategy to achieve long term, sustainable growth and increased profitability.” In addition to its home-grown brands, such as electric vehicle maker Zeeker, Geely has sought to expand its offerings by acquiring foreign brands Volvo, Lotus and London Taxi in recent years. Geely also owns a nearly 10 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz Group and agreed to take a 34 per cent stake in French carmaker Renault Group’s Korean unit in May.