Daimler sells 4% Tesla share but says partnership remains

Daimler sells 4% Tesla share but says partnership remains


Daimler has sold its 4% stake in electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. for $780 million, yet have been keen to emphasise the two company’s continuing partnership.

Bodo Uebber, the Daimler board member for finance, said “We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.”

Daimler initially acquired a 9.1% interest in Tesla in May 2009. In July 2009, 40% of that investment was transferred to Aabar Investments PJSC in the context of a joint strategic project. As a result of capital increases at Tesla, Daimler’s stake in the company decreased to around 4%, without affecting the two companies’ strategic cooperation or joint development projects, the company said in a statement.

The partnership between the two companies will remain with Daimler continuing to buy Tesla batteries for the current Mercedes B-Cass electric car.

However, the separation has created speculation that Daimler are moving to develop their electric vehicle programme and perhaps start battery production of their own.

Tesla has risen to become a significant rival in the luxury car market to Daimler with the Model S and have plans to assert even more dominance in the electric car market with the Model 3.

International Strategy & Investment analyst Arndt Ellinghorst commented, “In our view the ties between the two companies have loosened over time. From Tesla’s perspective it may be more interesting to work with BMW going forward, given BMW’s carbon fiber technology, than with Mercedes on the B-class”.

Forbes, The Wall Street Journal