December 23, 2009 / 1:05 PM / in 10 years

TIMELINE-China carmakers eye global brands

Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. carmaker Ford (F.N) said on Wednesday it expected to close a deal to sell its Swedish Volvo unit to China’a Geely in the second quarter of 2010, and it had settled all substantive commercial terms of the agreement.

For a main story, click on [ID:nLDE5BM0VB]

The move is the latest in a series of contacts this year between Western carmakers and Chinese companies, as big brands seek to restructure to ride out the recession and the Chinese look to raise their global profile.

Following is a TIMELINE tracing some of the proposed, failed or ongoing deals reported this year:

March 18 - BAIC said to want U.S. auto parts maker Delphi Corp’s DPHIQ.PK non-core assets. [ID:nSHA369285]

June 3 - Little-known heavy machinery maker Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery unveils tentative deal to buy GM’s Hummer. [ID:nN02495245]

June 11 - BAIC interested in Ford’s (F.N) Volvo car unit, a newspaper says. [ID:nSHA272274]

July 6 - Italian automaker Fiat FIA.MI agrees to 50:50 joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co Ltd [GAIGPA.UL] to produce car engines in China. [ID:nRON004699]

July 23 - GM rejects BAIC bid for its Opel brand; keeps talking to rival bidders.

Aug 1 - BAIC will pay up to $117 million for a 40 percent stake in Fujian Motor Industry Group’s 50:50 commercial vehicle venture with Daimler (DAIGn.DE) in southeast China. [ID:nSHA139358]

Aug 30 - China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK) is sole bidder for Ford’s Volvo unit, a Swedish business daily reports. [ID:nLT471018]

Sept 9 - Geely says its parent wants to bid for Volvo, with privately-held Geely Holding Group seeking full ownership. [ID:nHKG180468]

Sept 9 - BAIC agrees to take minority stake in Koenigsegg as part of the Swedish firm’s purchase of Saab. [ID:nL9222661]

Sept 15 - Cash-strapped South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor (003620.KS) proposes capital writedown that would slash the stake of SAIC, its majority Chinese shareholder. [ID:nSEO195161]

Sept 15 - Volvo Car CEO says Geely denied preparing a bid. [ID:nLG701790]

Sept 16 - Geely shares suspended pending $250 million bond and warrant issue. Geely says not related to Volvo. Geely announces on Sept. 23 that Goldman Sachs will invest $334 million. [ID:nHKG311594]

Sept 17 - Geely approaches Magna International about possible stake in Opel; Magna refrains for now from any such partnership as negotiations with GM to buy the unit continue.

Oct 9 - GM signs deal to sell Hummer to an investment partnership headed by China’s Tengzhong.

Oct 12 - Tengzhong seeks regulatory approval for Hummer buy, aims to close purchase by early 2010. [ID:nHKG219405]

Oct 28 - Ford chooses Geely as preferred bidder for Volvo. No sale price disclosed, but media reports put it closer to $2 billion than the $6.5 billion Ford paid for Volvo in 1999. [ID:nLS1199]

Nov 3 - GM opts to keep Opel.

Nov 24 - Koenigsegg pulls out of talks to buy Saab.

Nov 30 - BAIC says may still be interested in buying Saab after Koenigsegg talks collapse. [ID:nPEK20085]

Dec 4 - GM and SAIC to set up 50:50 JV to make small cars and commercial vehicles in India. GM also to sell 1 percent stake in existing China JV with SAIC to its partner, giving SAIC control. [ID:nSP484691]

Dec 7 - GM in talks with BAIC about a partial sale of Saab assets, including tooling and technology. [ID:nN07182598]

Dec 14 - BAIC buys Saab assets, including intellectual property for its 9-5 and 9-3 sedans as part of a push to develop its own-brand cars

Dec 22 - Sources say Ford is making headway in Volvo sale talks with Geely and will announce progress in a statement during the week

Dec 23 - BAIC says it will launch an aggressive campaign to develop its brand both at home and overseas after buying Saab technology [ID:nTOE5BM00Z]

— Ford says it has settled all substantive commercial terms for its sale of Volvo to Geely, and expects the deal to close in the second quarter of 2010.

Source: Reuters (Compiled by Gillian Murdoch; Editing by Ian Geoghegan, Helen Massy-Beresford and Jon Loades-Carter)

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