The BAIC Group is looking to buy a stake of up to 5% in Daimler AG, which is the parent company to Mercedes-Benz. According to a Reuters report, the move is means for BAIC to further secure its investment in Beijing Benz Automotive, a joint venture between the China-based company and Mercedes-Benz.

In the report, sources close to the matter revealed that BAIC’s intention to acquire a piece of the German carmaker started earlier this year, with certain shares being purchased on the open market. “Daimler’s share price is currently being underpinned by a buyer who appears to be building a stake,” one of sources said.

For now, there’s no official word from either party, and German regulatory filings do not indicate BAIC as being a significant shareholder. It’s estimated that BAIC would need to fork out nearly three billion euros for a 5% stake in Daimler, based on the German company’s closing market value of 57.6 billion euros as of last Friday.

This “open market” approach to share purchasing is reminiscent of Li Shufu path to becoming Daimler’s largest shareholder with a 9.69% stake (through Tenaciou Prospect Investment Limited). At the time, the Zhejiang Geely Holding founder had to purchase shares from other shareholders as Daimler declined to issue new shares because it did not want to see existing stocks diluted.

BAIC’s partnership with Daimler goes back more than a decade, with Beijing Benz being responsible for assembling a few Mercedes-Benz models in China. In March last year, Daimler themselves announced it had purchased a 3.93% stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV), a subsidiary of BAIC, to strengthen its partnership in the area of new energy vehicles (NEV).