On October 5th, Aabar, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, sold its remaining 3.07% stake in Daimler for 1.25 billion euro ($1.6 billion).
This move has been expected by investors for some time and it puts more pressure on Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s CEO, who has managed until now to fight off several investors’ request to sell or spin off the automaker’s trucks business and focus on its luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz. When reports that the emirate was planning to sell its stake started to spread, finance chief Bodo Uebber was forced to announce in April that the automaker was not a takeover candidate.
“Aabar realigned its investment in Daimler and we of course respect that,” a spokesman for the carmaker said. “We continue to be very pleased with our current shareholder structure,” he added.
Aabar’s share sale comes after recent news that Mercedes plans to reduce BMW’s operating margin target for next year. Although the wealth fund doesn’t have any stock in Daimler, according to the regulatory filing it still owns cash-settled call options, which are equivalent to 12.75% of Daimler’s shares.