Wanxiang chairman builds empire spanning various sectors

Wanxiang chairman builds empire spanning various sectors

Staff Reporter

2014-03-10

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Wanxiang Group founder and chairman Lu Guanqiu in Beijing, November 24, 2013. (Photo/Xinhua)

Wanxing Group, China’s leading auto parts maker, recently returned to the public spotlight in a high profile manner after finalizing an overseas deal in February, according to Guangzhou’s Time Weekly.

The Hangzhou-based Wanxiang won a bankruptcy auction for the assets of Fisker Automotive with US$149.2 million between Feb. 12-14. Fisker, a high-end hybrid sports car manufacturer, was established in 2007 in Los Angeles and filed for bankruptcy in November last year.

The Chinese firm acquired Fisker at a high price as the initial quoted price for the purchase of the assets was a sixth of the final deal. But this was a small price to pay, the paper said, as Wanxiang chairman Lu Guanqiu continues to pursue his goal of establishing his company into a substantial multinational firm and a car manufacturer.

Wanxiang previously purchased A123 Systems, the battery supplier for Fisker, in December 2012, which allowed the Hangzhou conglomerate to become a multinational new energy automobile company, along with its 12-year experience in manufacturing electric cars, the paper said.

But the purchase of Fisker’s assets is merely the tip of the iceberg. In addition to holding shares of companies from various industries, Wanxiang also owns a license for selling different kinds of financial products.

Lu, 70, has been an iconic figure in China since the 1980s, the paper said. He was elected as a representative of the 13th and 14th Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1987 and 1992, and was elected as one of the members at the National People’s Congress between 1998 and 2013.

After Wanxiang went public in 1994, it bought shares of several listed companies. The company, whose empire was built from the auto parts business, is now a large multinational group that spans several sectors, including automobiles, energy, real estate, finance and agriculture.

The company is also a family-run business, with Lu’s son and daughters, as well as their partners taking part in the group’s operations across the country and overseas. Pin Ni, the husband of Lu’s youngest daughter, currently serves as the president of Wanxiang America and has completed over 30 international acquisitions including Fisker.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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