MUNICH -- Daimler and BMW plan a share swap to boost cooperation between the two automakers, the German magazine Der Spiegel said today.
Daimler would take a seven percent stake in BMW, and BMW would have the same stake in Daimler, the magazine said in a report on its Web site.
Der Spiegel said that the Quandt family, which owns 46 percent of BMW, opposes cross-ownership. Family head Johanna Quandt, her son Stefan and his sister Susanne Klatten fear Daimler would launch a takeover of BMW, as happened when Daimler-Benz seized full control of Chrysler soon after a much-touted “merger of equals” in 1998.
The German government has been informally approached to find out whether it would overrule any opposition to cross-ownership from antritrust authorities, the magazine said.
Der Spiegel said Daimler and BMW will shortly announce details of a proposed cooperation for purchasing components. Joint purchasing is expected to save the two companies several hundred millions of euros in the short-term and billions in the mid-term.
The magazine quoted a BMW manager as saying: “We will get closer together through this cooperation; perhaps more will come out of it.”
Daimler and BMW have both been hit hard by a steep decline in luxury car sales during the global economic recession.