FRANKFURT -- Hedge funds control between 10 percent and 15 percent of the shares in DaimlerChrysler, its chief financial officer told German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung.
"Based on our analyses, we estimate hedge funds hold some 10 to 15 percent of our shares," Bodo Uebber said in an interview to be published on Saturday.
Nonetheless, the Daimler CFO said he didn't believe that hedge funds -- which have come under fire in Germany recently and were even described as "locusts" by a top politician here -- would be able to acquire majority control of the company or force out management like they did at Deutsche Boerse.
"We have a completely different shareholder structure than Deutsche Boerse," he said, "I don't see this as a danger for DaimlerChrysler."
Even if large shareholder Deutsche Bank were to sell its stake, Uebber said he was "100 percent sure" that it would closely consult with Daimler in advance before doing so.
He also said the company holds discussions with hedge funds as well as its other investors.
Nevertheless, he called for greater transparency for hedge funds in order that the market function more efficiently.
Analysts and investors have often said the value of Daimler's individual businesses combined are worth more than the whole. That would help make it a target for financial investors, who often look out for undervalued companies they can break up and sell part by part for a higher value.
The world's fifth-largest carmaker also said it would not necessarily profit over the long term if bigger U.S. rival General Motors were forced to file for insolvency.
"Over the mid-term a competitor that files for Chapter 11 could actually be strengthened, if for example the heavy burdens from pension and health-care costs can then be shaken off," Uebber said when asked whether it could benefit if GM became insolvent.
"They comprise between 10 and 20 percent of overall costs," he continued, adding though that both GM and Ford Motor Co. had sufficient possibilities for financing.