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Chinese battery maker CATL purchases 22 percent stake in Finnish car supplier Valmet Automotive

HELSINKI, Finland – Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) has bought a 22 percent stake in Finnish auto supplier Valmet Automotive to expand in the European electric car market, according to a company news release.

CATL is looking to be listed on Beijing’s exchange and plans to build a factory in Europe. It will partner with Valmet Automotive to supply European carmakers with battery packs and drivetrain solutions for electric cars, said the news release.

“Our shared aim is to develop a strong position in the European electrical vehicles market,” CATL Chief Operating Officer Jia Zhou said in a statement.

CATL tripled its production capacity for lithium-ion car batteries last year and plans to grow its battery capacity six fold by 2020 to 50 gigawatt hours, which could put it ahead of Tesla Motor Inc.’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

Valmet Automotive currently builds Mercedes-Benz SUVs for Daimler AG at its plant in southern Finland where it previously built Fisker’s Karma hybrid luxury cars. Its other owners are private equity firm Pontos and state-owned Finnish Industry Investment.

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