Daimler Trucks Expands its Local Presence in Russia

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Mar. 31 – Daimler AG and Russia’s investment bank Troika Dialog have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the strengthening of Daimler’s role in the Russian truck manufacturer KAMAZ, through the acquisition of five percent of the KAMAZ shares held by Troika Dialog.

Under this plan, Daimler AG and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are in negotiations to acquire this stake in KAMAZ owned by Troika Dialog. The acquisitions would be made in parallel and closely coordinated.

Daimler AG will initially increase its holding in KAMAZ by 1 percent to 11 percent. The remaining 4 percent of the deal would be bought by the EBRD. As a result of this transaction, the EBRD would obtain representation on the KAMAZ Board of Directors. Daimler AG has a seat on the KAMAZ Board of Directors since 2009.

The parties of the contract have agreed not to disclose the price at which the 5 percent stake will be purchased from Troika Dialog.

Daimler Trucks began a strategic partnership with KAMAZ, Rostechnologii State Corporation and Troika Dialog in December 2008, when Daimler acquired a 10 percent stake in KAMAZ.

“The planned increase of our stakes in KAMAZ is strengthening the strategic partnership of Daimler Trucks at KAMAZ,” says Andreas Renschler, Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. “This is not only a strategically important step for Daimler Trucks, especially under the currently difficult economic conditions — it also sends a clear signal. The strategic partnership with KAMAZ and the projects that have already been completed have set a further milestone toward opening up the Russian market with its promising growth opportunities. It will allow us to further expand Daimler Trucks’ global presence.”

Sergei Kogogin, General Director of KAMAZ, adds: “The increase of Daimler Trucks in the strategic partnership with KAMAZ demonstrates that our co-operation is on the right course and is making KAMAZ to an internationally competitive company.”

According to Ruben Vardanian, Chairman and CEO of Troika Dialog, “As the financial investor Troika Dialog is very pleased to contribute the development of this partnership, which commenced at the beginning of the global recession and has produced results in such short time, leading to today’s broadening of its financial and technological parameters. KAMAZ chose a very reliable partner in Daimler, which should be commended for its commitment to and confidence in this partnership and its strategy, as well as in the Russian auto market in general. Troika Dialog will continue to support the partnership in the future.”

“This agreement carries strategic significance for Russia and the Russian auto sector. It also speaks to a great deal of trust in Russia’s machinery industry and its overall economy, as well as the readiness of Western companies to invest in the Russian Federation,” said Sergey Chemezov, General Director at Rostechnologii State Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of OJSC KAMAZ.

According to KAMAZ web site, Daimler Trucks and KAMAZ signed agreements for the establishment of two joint ventures in November 2009.

Each company own 50 percent in first joint venture Fuso KAMAZ Trucks Rus, which is beginning to import semi-knocked-down assembly kits of Fuso trucks from Japan in the first quarter of 2010. The trucks will be manufactured in Naberezhnye Chelny, where KAMAZ has its truck plant; the new company’s sales headquarter is in Kazan.

Companies also own 50 percent in second joint venture – Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok, – which will initially build the heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Actros and Axor trucks in SKD assembly also located in Naberezhnye Chelny. The sales headquarters for Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Buses as well as Setra Coaches in Russia will remain in Moscow. Truck production is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2010, while the sales operations already began in January 2010 via the new company Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok.