China’s BAIC Group is reportedly looking to purchase a stake of up to 5 per cent in Daimler, thus securing its investment in the Beijing Benz Automotive joint venture.
According to multiple sources, BAIC has asked local authorities in Beijing to support a 4 to 5 percent stake purchase, while another source claims that the group already began acquiring Daimler shares on the open market, as reported by Reuters.
“Daimler share price is currently being underpinned by a buyer who appears to be building a stake,” stated a person familiar with the matter. As of right now, neither company has offered an official comment.
A 5% stake in Daimler would ultimately cost BAIC roughly 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), judging by the German automaker’s closing market value this past Friday (57.6 billion euros).
Right now, German regulatory filings do not show BAIC as a significant shareholder of Daimler, with German takeover rules allowing buyers to acquire a stake of up to 3% before a regulatory disclosure is required. Meanwhile, Daimler has ruled out issuing new stock to help outside parties build a stake – thus forcing potential buyers to acquire shares on the market.
BAIC has been interested in buying a stake in Daimler for roughly four years now and has redoubled its efforts after Geely chairman Li Shufu secured a 9.69% stake in the German brand last year, becoming Daimler’s single largest shareholder.