Daimler has sold off over 9 percent of their company at a discount in effort to raise enough cash to keep operations in tact. The move is seen as beneficial for both Daimler and the Abu Dhabi-based investor.
Abu Dhabi firm Aabar Investments PJSC has agreed to purchase 9.1 percent of Daimler in a deal valued at 1.95 billion euros (2.7 billion USD). The deal sends 96.4 million shares of Daimler stock to Aabar at a cost of 20.27 euros per share.
Even though Aabar got a 5 percent discount on the price of Daimler stock, the deal is seen as a good move by the automotive firm considering the troubled times. Automotive research director Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer told Bloomberg, "It's a win-win situation for both companies." In the interview from his University of Duisburg-Essen office he said, "It's an attractive price for Abu Dhabi, and it's good for Daimler to raise cash and get a long-term investor, because the next two years will be very hard."
The two sides also agreed to develop more electric vehicles, and take an innovative approach to the materials used in producing cars and trucks. They will also create an Abu Dhabi-based training center as part of a regional investment plan.
The retail value of Daimler stock has dropped over 50 percent since June, when it was trading at 45 euros. The share value declined by 20 percent this year alone, despite an increase of 1.7 percent by competitor BMW.
Still, Aabar looks to be gambling that Daimler is undervalued at the moment, with a turnaround on the way. Aabar chairman Khadem al-Qubaisi said, "Daimler is an iconic brand and a financially strong company."
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to make this investment and are excited by the commercial potential of our partnership."
Based in Stuttgart, Daimler has reduced automotive production in Germany, and shuttered up truck manufacturing facilities in North America. They lost 1.53 billion euros in the last quarter of 2008, much of which is due to their nearly 20 percent ownership of Chrysler.
The stock purchase makes Aabar the single largest shareholder of Daimler. Another Gulf area investment firm, Kuwait Investment Authority, owns 6.9 percent of the company.