Earlier in July this year, BAIC Group announced its acquisition of a 5% stake in Daimler AG, and the Chinese company is now looking to increase its stake even further. According to a Reuters report, it was revealed at an investor conferences in mid-October that “both sides are willing to increase stakes in the other.”
In a report posted by Daimler on November 22, the company revealed that HSBC held 5.23% in its voting rights, crossing the 5% threshold as of November 15. BAIC had used HSBC to help it build its initial 5% stake, but it is not officially confirmed if the Chinese company had a role to play in HSBC’s transaction, and if the stake will be transferred over. However, a Daimler spokesman said the company welcomed long-term shareholders such as BAIC, who support the carmaker’s strategies.
“Daimler AG appreciates BAIC as long-standing partner and long-term investor,” the spokesman said in a written statement. Such shareholders help us to further safeguard and strengthen the capitalization of our company,” an official statement read.
Daimler AG’s shareholder structure as of October 31, 2019
BAIC’s initial stake acquisition came after Geely’s Li Shufu became Daimler’s single largest shareholder with a 9.69% stake in February last year. In a response to BAIC’s suggested move, Geely said, “we are a long-term investor in Daimler. We do not react spontaneously to any volatility and we support Daimler’s management and their strategy.”
Daimler’s partnership with BAIC stretches back many years via the Beijing Benz Automotive joint venture, and currently holds a 9.55% stake in the Chinese company, as well as a 3.01% interest in a separate joint venture, BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology.