Nissan Follows Renault in Selling $1.4 Billion Daimler Stake

Nissan Motor Co. sold its entire stake in Daimler AG for 1.15 billion euros ($1.4 billion), joining its partner Renault SA in generating funds for turnaround efforts.

Nissan sold about 16.4 million shares at 69.85 euros each, according to a statement on its website Wednesday. Renault shed its Daimler stake in March, bringing in 1.14 billion euros. Daimler shares closed at 72.41 euros on Tuesday.

Like Renault, Nissan is trying to restore profitability and overhaul its portfolio after the 2018 arrest of their long-time leader Carlos Ghosn threw the alliance into disarray. Projects the two companies started with Daimler just over a decade ago were among the endeavors showing signs of stress before Nissan insiders orchestrated the former chairman’s downfall almost three years ago.

Nissan said the proceeds from the Daimler stake sale will be used to “further strengthen and enhance its business competitiveness, including investments to promote electrification.”

The industrial partnership between Nissan and Daimler “remains unchanged and isn’t impacted by the sale,” the Yokohama, Japan-based automaker said in the statement. The two companies will continue to collaborate in several areas, it said.

Several of Ghosn and former Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche’s projects to jointly develop and produce vehicles turned into bruising experiences. Mercedes culled the X-Class pickup that was based on the Nissan Navara due to poor sales, and customers mocked the mediocre quality of the small Citan van that shared components with Renault. The collaboration the companies planned for a factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico, also didn’t pan out as initially planned.

Ghosn and Zetsche regularly hosted joint press conferences at car shows before Japanese police arrested the former in late 2018 on suspicion of financial misconduct. Zetsche stepped down from his roles at Daimler the following year.

Source: Bloomberg


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