Daimler Sells Abu Dhabi a 9.1% Stake for $2.7 Billion


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March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG, the world’s second- largest maker of luxury cars, will sell 1.95 billion euros ($2.7 billion) of shares to Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJSC, making it the company’s largest shareholder.

Aabar will buy 96.4 million new Daimler shares for 20.27 euros a piece, the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker said today in an e-mailed statement. The price equates to a 5 percent discount to Friday’s close of 21.34 euros.

“We are delighted to welcome Aabar as a new major shareholder that is supportive of our corporate strategy,” Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in the statement. “We look forward to working together to pursue joint strategic initiatives.”

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks, is cutting car production in Germany and closing truck plants in North America to counter the worst auto-industry crisis in decades. The company, also the world’s largest truck maker, lost 1.53 billion euros in the fourth quarter, burdened by declining sales and expenses related to former U.S. arm Chrysler LLC.

Aabar’s stake will total 9.1 percent after the capital increase, exceeding Kuwait’s stake of 6.9 percent, Daimler said.

Aabar’s largest shareholder is International Petroleum Investment Co., owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

“Daimler is an iconic brand and a financially strong company,” said Aabar Chairman Khadem al-Qubaisi in the statement. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to make this investment and are excited by the commercial potential of our partnership.”

Daimler and Aabar intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles and new materials for auto production as well as establish a training center in Abu Dhabi.

Aabar agreed in December to pay 307 million Swiss francs ($272 million) and assume 100 million francs in debt to takeover the Swiss-based private banking unit of American International Group Inc.

Daimler Sells Aabar a 9.1% Stake for $2.7 Billion (Update3) - Bloomberg.com
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