Daimler raises €1.66bn in sale of EADS stake

City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN car maker Daimler has netted €1.66bn (£1.3bn) selling a 7.5 per cent stake in EADS, as part of a shake-up at the aerospace group that will put most of its shares beyond state control.

EADS, which scrapped plans to merge with Britain’s BAE Systems two months ago, saw its shares jump as much as 7.5 per cent after the deal.

France and Germany are set to limit their influence in the parent of planemaker Airbus, and EADS will buy back up to 15 per cent of its stock.

The pact between France and Germany on Wednesday paved the way for Daimler to sell its investment in EADS, allowing it to focus on its core business at a time when it has become a distant third in the global luxury car market.

“The 15 per cent buyback announced for 2013 is good news at multiple levels. Firstly it mops up all of the Daimler and Lagardere placement due in 2013,” Deutsche Bank wrote in a research note, referring to shares that will also be sold by French company Lagardere. Daimler and Lagardere were widely viewed as proxies for state influence in EADS.

In a placement that was several times oversubscribed, Daimler sold 61.1m shares in EADS for €27.23 each, at Wednesday’s closing price and at the top end of the expected range.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley acted as joint bookrunners for the placing.