Chinese group Geely is attempting to purchase a stake in Daimler for the second time, according to reports.

The Global Times of China says Geely is seeking to buy a three to five percent stake in German multinational Daimler, which owns the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands.

According to the report, the proposed investment would total about €4-billion and make Geely – which already owns Swedish automaker Volvo Cars and has a controlling stake in Lotus – the third-largest shareholder in Daimler, leapfrogging the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which owns some 3,1 percent.

The Global Times of China report says Geely made a direct offer to buy newly issued shares in Daimler in November, but the Stuttgart-based firm rejected it, suggesting the Chinese company instead purchase stock on the open market.