Daimler says Abu Dhabi fund has sold its 3% stake
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Aabar sold its remaining 3.07 percent stake in Daimler AG worth about 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) on Oct. 5, the German carmaker said in a regulatory filing today.
The move, widely expected for some time, could heighten pressure on Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who has had to fight off calls from some investors to sell or spin off the group's commercial trucks business to concentrate on its underperforming flagship, the luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz.
Amid reports the emirate was planning an exit, finance chief Bodo Uebber was forced to say late in April that the company was not a takeover candidate.
"Aabar realigned its investment in Daimler and we of course respect that," a spokesman for the carmaker said today.
"We continue to be very pleased with our current shareholder structure," he added, pointing for example to the recent increase in Kuwait's stake to 7.6 percent from a previous 6.9 percent.
The exit of Aabar comes after recent news of a Mercedes profit warning and a possible downward revision to the division's operating margin target for next year. Daimler reports quarterly earnings on Oct. 25.
Daimler shares closed up 0.8 percent on Thursday to finish trading at 38.15 euros, nearly twice as much as the 20.27 euros that Abu Dhabi paid for the shares in a capital increase that excluded existing shareholders back in March 2009.Contact Automotive News