STUTTGART, Germany and BERLIN, Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Daimler AG and the German federal government have agreed in principle that the state-owned KfW bank group will take over a 7.5 percent equity interest in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) from Daimler. The sale is slated to take place in 2012. A letter of intent to that effect is to be signed by KfW and Daimler AG before the end of this year.
Daimler cofounded EADS more than ten years ago and since then has successfully supported the company in its development into a world market leader. At the same time, the Daimler Group has consistently pursued the strategy of focusing on its core automotive business for several years now.
"We are in agreement with the federal government: The establishment of EADS was one of the pioneering achievements among European industrial projects in a strategically highly important and sensitive sector. Due to the strategic importance of EADS, the government has decided to safeguard the German-Franco balance through its investment by KfW bank group. As a result, one of the decisive factors for the success of EADS is maintained and an equivalent shareholder structure between the two sides is achieved," stated Bodo Uebber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Finance & Controlling and Daimler Financial Services.
"As we have always emphasized, Daimler remains committed to its role of industrial leadership on the German side," continued Bodo Uebber.
Discussions on continuation of investor consortium ("Dedalus")
Daimler and the German government have also agreed to hold conclusive discussions in the near future about the long-term structure of the investor consortium ("Dedalus"), which was set up in 2007 and confirmed in 2010. The consortium already holds 7.5 percent of EADS. The shared understanding is that the investor consortium should fundamentally continue to exist.
Voting rights following conclusion of the planned transaction
Ever since the foundation of EADS, Daimler has combined its voting rights in EADS B.V. with those of Spanish company SEPI and the French Sogeade, a holding company owned by Lagardere (33.3 percent) and the French government (66.7 percent), in a so-called shareholder pact, which holds 50.4 percent of the shares in EADS.
The voting rights of the bank and investor consortium will remain with Daimler AG for the time being. As a result, after the transfer of shares to KfW, Daimler will reduce its economic interest in EADS to 7.5 percent and its voting rights to 15 percent. The voting rights of Daimler and KfW are to be pooled in an intermediate holding company.
The German government will now make the necessary preparations in close cooperation with the partners of the shareholder pact.
Daimler AG currently holds an economic interest of 15 percent and voting rights of 22.5 percent in EADS B.V., which is incorporated in the Netherlands and is listed in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid.
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The company's founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. 125 years later, in anniversary year 2011, Daimler AG is one of the world's most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides its customers with a full range of automotive financial services including financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility. The Group applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and superior vehicles which fascinate and delight its customers. With the development of alternative drive systems, Daimler is the only vehicle producer investing in all three technologies of hybrid drive, electric motors and fuel cells, with the goal of achieving emission-free mobility in the long term. This is just one example of how Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, the world's most valuable automotive brand, Daimler's brand portfolio includes smart, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI). In the year 2010, the Daimler Group sold 1.9 million vehicles and employed a workforce of more than 260,000 people; revenue totaled 97.8 billion euros and EBIT amounted to 7.3 billion euros.
SOURCE Daimler Corporate Communications