DETROIT — German car and truck maker Daimler AG wants to pull its shares off the New York Stock Exchange due to low trading volume and to reduce the complexity of its financial reports, the company said Friday.
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz and Smart automobiles, along with Freightliner, Western Star and Sterling trucks in North America, and one-time owner of Chrysler, told the stock exchange of its intentions on Friday, and has applied for delisting with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, spokesman Han Tjan said.
Normally it takes about 10 business days from the application date for the shares to be removed from the exchange, Tjan said.
After de-listing, U.S. shareholders can continue to trade them at most major banks, and shares also can be traded through the Frankfurt or Stuttgart exchanges in Germany, Tjan said. Shares will continue to trade at market rates.
Daimler’s U.S. shares fell 49 cents to $50.58 in morning trading Friday.
The German automaker’s shares have been traded on the New York exchange since Oct. 5, 1993, five years before the company took over U.S. automaker Chrysler Corp. in a $36 billion deal.
The deal, billed as a “marriage made in heaven” by then-Damler CEO Juergen Schrempp, fell apart when the companies failed to achieve cost savings expected through integration. In 2007, Daimler sold most of its stake in Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP in a $7.4 billion deal.
Cerberus-led Chrysler eventually ran out of money and went into U.S. government-funded bankruptcy protection. It is now being managed by Fiat Group SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Tjan said the delisting has nothing to do with Daimler selling its stake in Chrysler, although trading volumes were higher when the two companies were combined.
Daimler said in a statement that it still believes having an international shareholder base is important, and the U.S. market is still important to the company.The company said most of its shares now are traded electronically through Frankfurt. Fewer than 5 percent of its shares are traded in New York.
The move means Daimler will no longer have to file annual and quarterly reports with the SEC, which will decrease the complexity of its financial reporting.
“It saves a lot of money,” said Tjan, who is based in New York. “You have to produce additional papers when you list it here.”
But the company said it still wants to maintain open communication with U.S. investors.
Daimler employs about 17,000 people in the U.S., including about 3,000 at a Mercedes assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Last year Daimler sold just over 205,000 Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and Smart cars in the U.S., according to Autodata Corp.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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