Daimler restructures cooperation with Tesla; termination of share-price hedging and sale of 4% stake
Daimler AG has restructured its cooperation with Tesla Motors. Daimler has terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and has sold its stake in Tesla of approximately 4%. The cooperation between the partners on the automotive projects is unaffected. Development work for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive (http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/10/20141021-bklasse.html) is completed, and the partnership with Tesla remains in place, Daimler said.
Daimler initially acquired a 9.1% interest in Tesla in May 2009. 40% of that investment was transferred to Aabar Investments PJSC in the context of a joint strategic project in July 2009. Tesla has been listed on the stock exchange since the end of June 2010. 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 sale of Daimler’s stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million, which will be used to strengthen Daimler’s operational business. The impact on EBIT for the year 2014 is approximately in the same amount.
We pursue our strategy for emission-free driving consequently. Electric vehicles are one component of this roadmap. In Tesla we do have a bold partner. Together we launched the B-class Electric Drive successfully in the United States this summer. In November, the B-Class Electric Drive will be launched in Europe as well. We are convinced that this powerful electric vehicle for every day use will appeal to a lot of customers. Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued.—Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Car
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.—Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Finance & Controlling and Financial Services
We have supported Tesla as a startup company for many years and have learned a lot from Tesla. At the same time, Tesla was able to profit from our automotive expertise. The cooperation with Tesla is one component of our activities in the field of electric mobility. It optimally complements our involvement in Deutsche ACCUmotive.—Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development
Daimler has the industry’s broadest portfolio of electric vehicles, from cars and vans to buses and light trucks: smart electric drive; Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL; B-Class Electric Drive; B-Class F-CELL; SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive; Vito E-CELL; Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid; Fuso Canter E-CELL; and Freightliner Custom Chassis MT E-CELL All-Electric.
In 2014, Mercedes-Benz sold more automobiles with hybrid drive than all other German manufacturers combined, although far less than Toyota, which currently has about 80% hybrid share in Europe. Mercedes-Benz’ focus will continue to be on plug-in hybrids in the coming years. By the year 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars will launch ten new plug-in hybrid models in all market segments.