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Samsung buys $450 million stake in Chinese electric car firm

Samsung Electronics is to pay 3 billion yuan ($450 million) for a stake in Chinese automaker and rechargeable batteries firm BYD, the Chinese company said in a stock exchange filing this week.

Automakers and technology companies have formed a series of partnerships in recent years as the race to develop electric, self-driving, internet-connected vehicles has created demand for more electronics components and software.

The Samsung investment has been made through Chinese subsidiary Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor and gives the Korean firm a 1.92 percent stake in BYD, making it the ninth largest investor in the company.

BYD, which also counts Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway as a backer, began as a battery maker for personal electronics before launching its automotive business that focuses on electric and hybrid vehicles.

A total of six investors bought BYD shares in a placing at 57.40 yuan per share, a discount to Thursday’s closing share price of 61.94 yuan.

The 14.5 billion yuan private placement also included investments by CCB Principal Asset Management, China Life AMP Asset Management, Aegon-Industrial Fund Management and Essence Fund.

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