Daimler CEO says would 'welcome' Chinese investor

Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:37am EST
 
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler DAIGn.DE would welcome a Chinese investor after taking a stake in Beijing Automotive Group BEJINS.UL, though it has had no sign that this will happen, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said.

"We would welcome Chinese investment, although we're not desperately looking for that, because it's better for us when China is interested in our fate," Zetsche said during a panel discussion in Berlin on Saturday.

"The reason is certainly not to look for more equity. We rather have the opposite problem of very high equity in our company."

Daimler is seeking to revive operations in China, where the luxury car maker has fallen behind its German rivals BMW BMWG.DE and Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE Audi and fallen out with its dealers.

The Stuttgart-based manufacturer and Beijing Auto BEJINS.UL signed an agreement last week that will see Daimler take a 12 percent equity stake in BAIC Motor and two seats on the board.

Zetsche said on Saturday that a possible Chinese investor would need to buy shares in the market, adding that "no other transaction" would be involved.

"We don't know if that's going to happen," the CEO said.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Ron Popeski)

 
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche listens during a car summit organized by business newspaper Handelsblatt in Munich October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle