The German automaker, the parent company of the world’s third-largest premium carmaker – Mercedes-Benz – has surprised analysts and investors by selling its 4% stake in California-based electric maker Tesla.
Daimler AG announced it would get $780 million (483.89 million pounds) from the move, a cash flow that would buoy earnings before interest and taxes. According to the carmaker, the proceeds from the stake sale would be necessary to support and strengthen Daimler’s operational business.
Daimler Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said the reason to divest the shares has nothing to do with the ongoing partnership and cooperation with Tesla and the investment actually became superfluous. According to the Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, the technological deal between the two companies would go on unchanged.
Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche added “our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued,” which means the cooperation agreement to have Mercedes-Benz models fitted with Tesla battery technology would be unaffected. The US automaker is giving Daimler electric motors and batteries for the latter’s Smart Fortwo electric version and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Vehicle variant. The German company might be sheltering itself against a possible decline in Tesla shares, as the electric startup is on the verge of launching a very ambitious expansion plan that might dent profits on the short-term.