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SAMSUNG Bets on China’s BYD

Samsung Electronics Co. said it will acquire a stake in BYD Co. through the Chinese electric-vehicle and battery maker’s ongoing $2.3 billion share sale, as the South Korean technology giant bets on the automotive market to drive growth.

Neither company disclosed the size of the stake or how much it would cost Samsung. Details will be unveiled this week, when BYD’s share self-driving cars develop electric cars sale via a private placement is completed, according to a person close to the matter.

The Korea Economic Daily reported Friday that Samsung had agreed to buy 3 billion yuan ($449 million) of new BYD shares, which would give it a 4% stake in the Chinese auto maker. Samsung declined to comment on the report.

BYD has said it would sell 15 billion yuan of new shares to help boost its battery-production capacity and its electric-car output.

Sales of electric and hybrid cars in China, the world’s largest auto market, quadrupled to 331,000 units last year, helped by government subsidies.

Samsung Electronics, however, has been a latecomer in the rapidly growing auto-parts business. The company, whose mainstay smartphone business is facing a global slowdown, in December established a team for self-drive technologies in a push for sales of components used for in-car entertainment and satellite navigation.

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