India Watch : Daimler to raise $429m with sale of stake in Tata Motors

Automotive News Europe/Reuters, 8th March, 2010

MUMBAI/FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Daimler AG is selling its entire stake in India’s Tata Motors Limited to raise up to $429 million worth of shares, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Daimler is offering 25.6 million shares in India’s largest vehicle maker at 737.4 rupees ($16.2) to 761.3 rupees each, which is 4 percent to 7 percent below the stock’s Monday close of 796.75 rupees, sources said. The ordinary shares represent a 5.34 percent stake in the firm. Daimler also owns 4.71 percent of Tata Motors on a fully diluted basis.

Media reports in India had earlier speculated that the German carmaker would look to exit its long-held stake in Tata Motors. A Daimler official declined to comment on the reported share sale and a Tata Motors spokeswoman did not have immediate comment.

Citigroup is handling the share sale in Tata Motors, which makes the world’s cheapest car, the Nano, and also owns UK-based luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Shares in Tata Motors have risen 19 percent since Feb. 26, which is when the company posted a consolidated net profit for the second straight quarter as sales from its Jaguar and Land Rover unit recovered. Tata Motors shares ended 0.18 percent higher on Monday before the share sale was revealed.

Car sales in India have surged in recent months and jumped by a third in February to a record as buyers rushed to beat a planned increase in taxes. The momentum is expected to continue in March before the start of new emissions that will boost new-car prices.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

Clive Goldthorp

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