Li Shufu, Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Photo: AFP

Chinese car manufacturer Geely has acquired a US$9 billion stake in Daimler, the German automaker said on Friday.

The deal was confirmed in a regulatory filing, according to Bloomberg, making the Chinese firm the largest single investor in Daimler.

Geely has been building up its stake in the maker of Mercedes-Benz in recent weeks, with their holding now reaching nearly 10%.

“Li Shufu is a Chinese entrepreneur Daimler knows well and regards highly in terms of his competency and focus on future developments,” Daimler spokesman Joerg Howe was quoted as saying. “Daimler already has a strong footing in China. We have a very strong partner with our existing cooperation with BAIC Motor.”

The deal adds to a growing list of European acquisitions for the Hangzhou-based manufacturer. Geely became the largest shareholder of Volvo last December, and took a controlling stake in the UK’s lotus last May.