Aabar sells remaining 3.07% stake in Daimler AG for $1.6 billion

Article by Eugene Conan, on October 12, 2012

Aabar, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, sold its remaining 3.07 percent stake in Daimler AG for around EUR1.25 billion ($1.6 billion) on Oct. 5, the German carmaker disclosed in a regulatory filing. Aabar’s move is expected to increase pressure on Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche, who has had to fend off calls from some shareholders to sell or spin off the group's commercial trucks business to focus on luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz.

Despite reports that Aabar was planning to sell all of the remaining stake, Daimler finance chief Bodo Uebber was forced to remark in April 2012 that the company was not a takeover candidate. A Daimler spokesman confirmed the move by Aabar, adding that the carmaker respect it.

The spokesman said that Daimler continues to “to be very pleased” with its current shareholder structure, citing the recent hike in Kuwait's stake from 6.9 percent to 7.6 percent. Aabar’s exit from Daimler’s shareholder structure comes after news of a profit warning at Mercedes and of a likely negative update of the luxury unit’s operating margin target for 2013. Daimler is set to release its quarterly results on October 25, 2015.

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