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Mercedes-Geely Smart Venture Said to Seek Up to $1 Billion

  • Mini car brand currently valued at roughly $5 billion
  • Smart had announced plans to go all-electric in 2018
A Smart EQ fortwo compact electric automobile.

A Smart EQ fortwo compact electric automobile.

Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg
Updated on

Smart Automobile Co., a joint venture between Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and China’s biggest private carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., is considering raising funds as part of its plans to revive the iconic minicar as an all-electric brand, according to people familiar with the matter.

Smart could seek about $500 million to $1 billion in fresh funds by selling a minority stake in the venture, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A private fundraising deal for Smart, which is currently valued at roughly $5 billion, could attract interest from other carmakers and strategic investment funds, the people said.