Daimler AG (DDAIF) said Monday that it plans to formally separate its car and truck divisions into separate legal entities and will spend what it described as a "three-digit million euro" sum to kickstart the project.
"In addition to the existing legally independent division Financial Services, the divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans as well as Daimler Trucks & Buses may be transferred into two legally independent entities," the Stuttgart-based company said, the Daimler management board said in a statement. A final decision on the separation will be voted on by shareholders at a 2019 general meeting.
The company said it has no plans to divest any of its divisions, but believes that each will be better-placed to take greater entrepreneurial responsibility if they are legally separate.
Daimler said the moves were based on the positive results of a feasibility study. While the decision has yet to be put to its supervisory board or an agreement finalized with employee representatives under German law, the first cornerstones of a deal on employment are already in place.
It said previously agreed employment guarantees will be extended to the end of 2029 and it expects to contribute a further €3 billion ($3.5 billion) to its pension fund.
Daimler shares were marked 0.82% higher at €68.36 by 13:15 in Frankfurt and have risen around 12.2% since news of the potential structure change was reported in late August by Germany's Manager Magazin.
Goldman Sachs analysts later upgraded the German automaker to "Buy" with 12-month price target of €81.00, noting that "such a holding company structure would give Daimler increased strategic freedom to develop strategies for each of its businesses to meet significant structural challenges over the next decade," Goldman said. "Mercedes and Vans need to position itself for transition to electrification, autonomous car and mobility as a service."
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