The parent company of Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely, which owns Sweden's Volvo Cars, plans to acquire a stake of up to 30% in privately-owned Danish investment banking group Saxo Bank.

Saxo Bank said in a statement its co-founder Lars Seier Christensen had agreed to sell his 25.71% stake to Geely International Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The stake is estimated to be valued at US$400m. 

Other minority shareholders are also expected to sell stakes to Geely. The move would help strengthen the automaker's presence in the international financial services sector, while Saxo Bank expects significant growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region with Geely as its largest shareholder, particularly in China where it has only a limited presence.

Private equity group TPG Capital will become Saxo Bank's second-largest shareholder with a 29% stake.

If the deal takes place, it would come hot on the heels of another Chinese acquisition of a significant stake in a major European institution after HNA Group took a 9.92% stake in Germany's Deutsche Bank.

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