The Zhejiang Geely Holding (ZGH) Group has completed the transaction for a majority stake in previously-Proton-owned sports car maker Lotus, and now holds a 51% stake in the company, while 49% is held by Malaysian automotive group Etika Automotive.

Lotus’ board of directors has thus now been formally established, with the majority/minority proportions reflected in the composition of the five seats: three are appointed by Geely Holding, while the remaining two are appointed by Etika Automotive.

Chairman of the board at Lotus is now Daniel Donghui Li, who is executive vice president and chief financial officer at Geely. Also joining the board at Lotus are Feng Qing Feng, Geely Auto vice president and Nathan Yu Ning, Geely Holding vice president of international business and executive advisor to the president.

From the Etika side, the Lotus board will be joined by Datuk Sharil Tarmizi, senior advisor at investment advisory firm Quantephi and a “long-term supporter of technology companies.” Sharil was also the chairman and chief executive officer of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) from 2011 to 2014. Etika will announce the remaining member of the board ‘in due course’, according to Lotus.

CEO Jean-Marc Gales (left)

Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales (left)

The role of chief executive officer at Lotus will remain with Jean-Marc Gales, who has held the post since joining the company in 2014. Under his stewardship, the sports car maker posted positive cash flow for the first time in 40 years, with Gales having set out to stabilise finances and grow its model line-up.

“With the transaction completion we now look forward to working with our partners to develop the Lotus brand into a globally competitive brand and a well recognised leader in the sports car market. We are extremely confident that Lotus will go above and beyond the expectations of the automotive industry and consumer base in the near future,” said chairman of the board Li.

With Lotus’ books now trading the red ink for black, it would appear that Li’s confidence for progress is substantiated, certainly when compared with an earlier failed attempt to launch five big-league models in five years.