by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

German government and Daimler AG plan sale of 7.5 percent of EADS shares by Daimler to KfW bank group

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 Lagardère (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.

Source: Daimler AG

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