Daimler has a major new shareholder; an investment group linked to the Abu Dhabi government.
By buying newly issued shares Aabar Investment has become the largest stakeholder in the German carmaker. Daimler’s boss Dieter Zetsche sealed the deal with the chairman of Aabar Khadem Al Qubaisi who insisted that they are not just buying because it’s a cheap investment given the depressed state of the car industry: “We are not coming here for a financial return. We are not coming here to be a short-term player. We are coming to be long-term and to integrate Abu Dhabi economy, UAE economy, with our companies which we invested in.” This is the latest major investment by the Abu Dhabi group which late last year bought the Manchester City football team and put 3.7 million euros into Barclays Bank. In return for its almost two billion euros, Aabar gets a stake of 9.1 percent but no seat on Daimler’s board or managerial influence. Analysts said the fact that it feels the need to shore up its balance sheet may indicate the carmaker is having a tougher time than previously thought.