GERMANY: DaimlerChrysler says in no hurry to sell Hyundai stake
DaimlerChrysler is in no hurry to sell its 10.5% stake in Hyundai Motor and can wait until conditions are ripe, the German-American carmaker reportedly said on Wednesday.
Asked about Korean media reports that the well-flagged sale of the $US1.06 billion stake could take place as early as next week, a company spokesman in Stuttgart told Reuters: "We are under no time pressure to do that and we are watching the market."
A Hyundai official, who asked not to be identified, reportedly played down prospects for a quick sale of Daimler's stake.
"It's highly speculative. If they are really going to sell, they wouldn't have let the market know in advance because that would only put pressure on the stock prices," he told the news agency. "Clearly, they would have to sell but they wouldn't do so when the market expects that."
Reuters noted that DaimlerChrysler's head of corporate development, Ruediger Grube, said in June the sale would go through within two years.
The companies reportedly announced on May 12 that DaimlerChrysler would sell its stake after the partners scaled back a four-year-old alliance for commercial vehicles and cars.
"DaimlerChrysler may sell such shares at any time and under some circumstances will do so within certain specified periods of time," it said at the time without elaborating.
Reuters noted that the news came just weeks after Daimler pulled the plug on further financial aid to struggling Japanese ally Mitsubishi Motors. Its 37% Mitsubishi stake has since fallen to below 25%, but it intends to keep it for now.
Daimler reportedly has not said whether it would sell the Hyndai stock to strategic investors or place it more widely. The company's main priority is to maximise returns on the holding it bought in two tranches in 2000 and 2001 for $US571.6 million in cash, Reuters added.