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Hong Kong watchmaker snaps up 'Japan's Tesla' for $114mn

O Luxe to buy Japanese electric car startup GLM

The GLM G4 electric supercar, launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 2016, is viewed as Japan's response to U.S. luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla. (Photo courtesy GLM)

HONG KONG -- Watchmaker O Luxe Holdings said on Sunday it will buy Japanese electric vehicle startup GLM for about 896 million Hong Kong dollars ($114 million).

O Luxe will acquire 85.5% of GLM's outstanding shares.

GLM was set up as a Kyoto University venture in 2010. The company develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles and is often referred to as "Japan's Tesla," after its American rival. It drew attention this year with its prototype Tommykaira ZZ, which boasts the world's first resin windshield.

The Hong Kong watchmaker plans to fund the purchase both with cash and by issuing new shares to GLM. The shares will be worth HK$0.82 apiece, 19.6% cheaper than the HK$1.02 at Thursday's close. O Luxe plans to continue buying the remaining GLM shares from minority shareholders in the hopes of taking full control of the Japanese company.

O Luxe also has some upstream businesses such as gold mining.

In April it revealed its intention to buy a Japanese electric vehicle company.

Following Sunday's announcement, O Luxe's share price shot up in Hong Kong on Monday, hitting a high of HK$1.23, up HK$0.21, or 20.58%, from Thursday when the stock last changed hands. The stock last touched the level nearly three years and eight months ago on Nov. 20, 2013.

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