Evergrande Health Industry Group announced that its subsidiary has acquired British in-wheel electric motor company Protean Holdings by effecting a merger of Protean with Virtue Surge Limited, a subsidiary of NEVS.

Protean is the world leader of in-wheel electric motor technology for passenger cars, Evergrande Health said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

By acquiring US-based Protean, the company is able to further consolidate its control over in-wheel electric motor technology, to further consummate the strategic layout for its new energy vehicle industry full value chain, it said. The transaction price was not disclosed.

The total hours placed in the research and development of Protean products are estimated at over 1 million, and Protean has been granted with more than 150 patents for its technologies globally and more than 150 pending patent application, covering areas such as electric motor, inverter design and in-wheel electric motor applications.

It is the latest move by Evergrande for its new energy vehicle business as the company has invested tens of billions of yuan in recent years, acquiring companies from battery, auto sales, to auto parts.

It reported a loss of over 1.7 billion yuan for the new energy vehicle business in 2018.