Daimler's investment vehicle -- Blackstar InvestCo – has reduced its shareholding in Tesla Motors after transferring 40% of its stake to fellow Daimler investor, Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Aabar Investments PJSC. This was revealed via a regulatory filing. Blackstar, the third-largest shareholder in Tesla, transferred 3.25 million Tesla shares to Aabar.
Jeff Evanson, Tesla's head of investor relations, said that Daimler continues to be Tesla's No. 3 shareholder, behind Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Fidelity Investments. Daimler's investment in Tesla and purchases of its battery packs and motors had aided in sustaining Tesla after a cash crisis in 2008.
Last week, Tesla started to deliver the first versions of its battery-powered Model S luxury sedan. It has also inked a deal to supply the parts for a new electric Mercedes-Benz model.
Evanson said that Daimler is expected to retain sole ownership of Blackstar and will not sell any of their shares. He also believes that Daimler investment will stay at 4.7 percent. He said that Abu Dhabi Water & Electric, which had held 7.3 million shares at the end of last year, has divested its Tesla holdings.
Daimler spokesman Florian Martens confirmed the share transfer. Martens said that the new Mercedes project with Tesla is for a B-class small wagon.
In a statement, Daimler's development chief Thomas Weber said that Daimler's partnership with Tesla has developed wonderfully and is intended to be long-term. Weber said that the two companies are the leading players for electric mobility and will proceed with extending the boundaries in this segment.