Maserati’s holding company Stellantis has acquired a 20% stake in new-energy carmaker Leapmotor for EUR1.5 billion (USD1.6 billion) and has set up a joint venture with the latter in a 51:49 shareholding ratio.
This follows Volkswagen’s acquisition of XPeng Motors, making it the second major European carmaker to set up a joint venture with a Chinese new-energy company.
The primary focus of this joint venture will be the exclusive export, sales and manufacturing of Leapmotor products outside of greater China.
Michael Wu, the co-president of Leapmotor, said he hoped to take advantage of Stellantis to boost the Chinese carmaker’s overseas sales. “[Some] 49% of large gifts is still better than 100% of small gifts,” said Wu.
Allen & Overy, led by Hong Kong-based partner David Norman, advised Stellantis on international law, with support from M&A partners Gilbert Li and Iris Yeung. Shanghai-based partner Jill Ge counselled on intellectual property matters. Vivian Cao, a partner of Allen & Overy’s China-affiliated Lang Yue Law Firm, provided antitrust advice.
Haiwen & Partners advised Stellantis on PRC law, with partner Ryan Ren leading the team.
Clifford Chance advised Leapmotor on international law, with China’s co-managing partner Tim Wang and partner Yufei Liao leading the team. Partners Tianning Xiang, Tommy Tam and Bai Yong advised on compliance with Hong Kong Listing Rules, takeover codes and antitrust matters, respectively.
Jingtian & Gongcheng acted as Leapmotor’s PRC counsel.
Last year, Leapmotor debuted in Hong Kong raising HKD6.28 billion, making it one of the largest Hong Kong IPOs in 2022.
At the time, Leapmotor took the unprecedented step of adding PRC data security counsel to its legal team in preparation for its Hong Kong IPO, the first time a Hong Kong-listed company’s prospectus fatured such an advisory role.