Daimler’s Investment Vehicle Cuts Tesla Stake image

Daimler’s investment arm chose to shift to an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund 40% of its Tesla Motors stake.

Aabar Investments PJSC, which is also a Daimler investor, received 3.25 million Tesla shares from Daimler’s Blackstar InvestCo. The fact that Daimler, Tesla’s third largest shareholder, invested in the company and purchased its motors and battery packs, helped Tesla survive its 2008 cash crisis. Last week, Tesla begun to deliver the first versions of its EV Model S luxury sedan, and also signed a deal to manufacture components for a new electric Mercedes-Benz model.

“We expect that Daimler is going to retain sole ownership of Blackstar and not sell any of their shares,” said Jeff Evanson, Tesla’s head of investor relations. “We expect the Daimler investment will remain at 4.7 percent. Abu Dhabi Water & Electric, which had held 7.3 million shares at the end of 2011, has divested its Tesla holdings.”

Thomas Weber, Daimler’s development chief, expressed his satisfaction on how the Daimler-Tesla partnership has developed, adding that both companies are long-term oriented and focused on developing together the electric mobility field.