FRANKFURT Jan 11 German luxury carmaker Daimler
is eyeing an anchor investment in the passenger car
unit of its Chinese partner BAIC Group, in a bid to overcome its
weakness the world's largest car market, three people close to
the plans said.
"When BAIC Motor is floated, Daimler may take a stake of 10
to 20 percent," one of the sources said on Friday, adding the
size of the stake depended on discussions with its Chinese
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, declined to
comment while BAIC, China's fifth largest automaker, was not
immediately available for comment.
The chairman of State-controlled BAIC, Xu Heyi, told Reuters
in September that it aims to list its passenger car subsidiary
BAIC Motor in 2013, hoping to raise around 10 billion yuan ($1.6
Two sources close to the transaction said BAIC Motor is
expected to be listed in Hong Kong this year, targeting a volume
of at least $1 billion, while other sources cautioned that an
initial public offering (IPO) may be delayed until next year.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been
mandated to organise the listing, the sources said.
A BAIC investment may help Daimler to get its ailing China
business back on track. While China has become Mercedes-Benz's
No. 3 market globally after Germany and the United States,
Daimler's luxury unit trails its rivals BMW and Audi
in sales and has slipped deeper into global third
place in the luxury market in 2012.