China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has signed a binding deal to buy Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo Cars unit, a Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg confirmed today. He could not disclose the value of the deal, saying details on the price tag and the financing would be disclosed at a news conference later today. Analysts have estimated the deal at about $2 billion.
Ford has been trying to sell Volvo since late 2008 to focus its resources on managing its core Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands. Geely, an independent automaker that has struggled to upgrade its image in overseas markets, has long coveted a stronger foothold in Europe. Volvo employs nearly 20,000 workers.