On Tuesday, Nissan Motor Co. announced that it would be selling its shares of Daimler AG. The Japanese firm owns about 1.5 percent of Germany’s oldest automaker and the move is something many were predicting after Renault did the same in March.
Nissan’s offloading will mimic its partners and likewise use an accelerated bookbuild offer that basically means dumping shares as quickly as possible with help from an underwriter. Investors were to expect shares to be priced around 69.85 euros apiece, netting the automaker at least $1.2 billion if everything goes smoothly.
As with Renault, Nissan said it would continue working with Daimler. Though it’s not clear if there are any projects in the works at present and the tie-up seemed to be running out of steam ever since Dieter Zetsche announced he would be retiring as Daimler’s CEO. His successor, Ola Källenius, made it clear that he was far more interested in building bridges with longtime rival BMW.
Back in April 2010, Daimler took a 3.1 percent share in both Renault and Nissan. In exchange, they both bought up a 1.55 percent share in the German firm. While this yielded cooperation on several small vehicles and Nissan being put in charge of building engines for Daimler in Tennessee, the partnership ran out of steam quickly. Using the Navara as the basis for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup also turned out to be a mistake. Meanwhile, the Daimler-based Infiniti QX30 failed to impress customers as much as it did reviewers due to its prioritizing style over substance.
Collaborative projects have all but dried up since, with the amount of industrial overlap between Renault/Nissan and Daimler declining every year since 2017. The German company has been looking at opportunities in China in the interim and has announced numerous deals with Geely — which now owns a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler.