Samsung unit buys 3b yuan stake in BYD

Phone maker seeks to bolster its chip business for cars through the investment

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 July, 2016, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

BYD, the electric-car maker backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said a unit of Samsung Electronics bought a three billion yuan stake in the Chinese company.

Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor bought 52.3 million BYD shares at 57.40 yuan apiece in a private placement that raised 14.5 billion yuan in total from six investors, according to a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange.

The fundraising will dilute billionaire chairman Wang Chuanfu’s stake by about 1.9 percentage points to 18.8 per cent.

Samsung pursued a stake in BYD after its affiliate was among foreign battery makers left off a list of suppliers approved by China, where sales of electric vehicles are surging and the government has sped up construction of charging points. The world’s largest maker of phones and memory chips said last week that investing in BYD would bolster Samsung’s semiconductor business for cars.

BYD would use the proceeds from the placement to fund an expansion in battery production and research and development into new-energy vehicles, it said in the statement.

The Chinese government wants sales of electric vehicles to exceed three million units a year by 2025 after the country surpassed the US last year to become the global market leader.

Shares in BYD fell 0.9 per cent in Shenzhen to 61.94 yuan at the close on Thursday.