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SBD Global/November 20, 2012/Franchises

Daimler AG Becomes Sole Owner Of Mercedes F1 Team By Buying Remaining 40%

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German luxury carmaker Daimler "has taken full control" of the Mercedes F1 team after "buying a 40% stake owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Aabar Investments," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The sale of the F1 stake "is a logical step for Aabar, which has been cutting its ties with Daimler." Sources familiar with the matter said that Aabar's disposal in October "was triggered by a failed derivatives deal underpinning the investment firm's purchase of the shares." Regulatory approval "is still required for the sale of the stake in the F1 team, and financial terms were not disclosed" (REUTERS, 11/19). On Nov. 16, 2009, Daimler and Aabar purchased a 75.1% stake in the Brawn GP team. This stake grew to 100% in the company in February '11, with a proportion of 60-40. Daimler now has taken the final stake in the company, which is now 100% in Daimler control. Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Manager Bradley Lord said, "In that context you can see a level of process to it. The other context is that Aabar has recently divested itself with shareholding in Daimler AG. So, the move certainly didn't come out of the blue" (SBD Global). BLOOMBERG's Mahmoud Kassem reported the "Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund unloaded its remaining stake in Daimler in October." Aabar "had bought a 9% stake in the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer in March '09 after financial markets collapsed." As part of the partnership, Aabar acquired 40% of the Mercedes F1 team (BLOOMBERG, 11/19). AUTOSPORT's Pablo Elizalde reported Daimler "confirmed it is now the only owner" of the Brackley, England-based squad "after completing the purchase of the final stake for an undisclosed figure" (AUTOSPORT, 11/19).
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