Daimler sells 40% of its Tesla share to Abu Dhabi
Daimler AG and its new major shareholder Aabar Investments PJSC of Abu Dhabi, have started their first joint strategic project with the sale by Daimler of 40% of its equity interest in Tesla Motors to Aabar.
On May 19, 2009, Daimler AG acquired an equity interest of just under 10% in Tesla Motors, a leading producer of electric vehicles. Already at that time, Daimler and Aabar both wanted to invest jointly in Tesla. After the clarification of contractual details, this plan can now be implemented.
Tesla is currently the only automobile producer marketing electric vehicles that are capable of operating over long distances in North America and Europe. The two companies have already agreed to cooperate on the integration of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery packs and charging electronics into the first 1,000 units of Daimler’s electric smart car. In order to benefit from knowledge-sharing, the agreement reached in May will enable the two companies to “collaborate even more closely on the development of battery systems, electric drive systems and individual vehicle projects.”
Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar Investments PJSC, said “When we acquired our stake in Daimler in March we identified a number of potential areas for cooperation between our two businesses. One of these was a desire to focus on the development of electric vehicles and projects aiming at the reduction of CO2-emissions. Our joint involvement with Daimler in Tesla is completely in line with this strategy, and marks an important step in the continuing development of our partnership.”
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG said “We are pleased that Aabar is supporting us with the development of battery systems and electric power trains, accelerating the worldwide commercialisation of electric vehicles.”
On March 22 of this year, Aabar acquired 9.1% of the share capital of Daimler AG. In connection with Aabar’s entry as a major Daimler shareholder, the two companies issued a letter of intent stating that in addition to the equity investment, other joint strategic projects would be initiated, involving electric vehicles for example.