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Daimler agrees to give up remaining stake in Chrysler

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Hot on the heels of the Chrysler's tentative deal with the UAW to cut the automaker's VEBA obligations, Daimler AG has announced it's finally reached an agreement to unload its remaining stake in Chrysler. According to Daimler's release, the company's 19.9% stake in Chrysler will be redeemed and Daimler write off a $1.5 billion loan which will help (if it can) avoid putting Chrysler into bankruptcy and facilitate the automaker's deal with Fiat. The agreement is likely to reduce Daimler's second-quarter earnings (before interest and taxes) by around $700 million, however, the German giant had already written down its stake in Chrysler last year. The agreement also includes Daimler paying $200 million into Chrysler's pension plans once the agreements are definitive, and another $200 million each year until 2011. All the gritty details are available in the press release below the fold.



US-Dollar Version: Daimler reaches agreement on separation from Chrysler

Agreement with US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), Chrysler and Cerberus on pending issues

Redemption of remaining 19.9% shareholding

Daimler AG (stock-exchange abbreviation DAI), Chrysler, Cerberus and the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) signed a binding term sheet on April 27, 2009 covering issues still pending between the parties in connection with Chrysler.

Under this agreement, Daimler's remaining 19.9% shareholding in Chrysler will be redeemed and Daimler will forgive repayment of the loans extended to Chrysler, which were already written off in the 2008 financial statements.

In addition, Daimler has agreed to pay US $200 million into Chrysler's pension plans on the date of the execution of definitive agreements and in each of the next two years. In this way, Daimler is helping to secure pension payments to former employees of DaimlerChrysler. The existing pension guaranty of US $1 billion vis-à-vis the PBGC will be reduced to an amount of US $200 million and will remain in place until August 2012.

Chrysler and Cerberus waive any claims that might arise from representations and warranties made in the transaction of August 3, 2007, including the accusations made against Daimler in 2008 that Daimler allegedly improperly managed certain issues in the period between the signing of the agreement and the conclusion of the transaction. This also applies to the accusation that incomplete information was provided on the transaction.

Following the transfer of the term sheet into the final definitive agreements, the relationship between Daimler and Chrysler will solely consist of supplier-customer relations, including limited support for certain dealer financing until the end of September 2009, as well as certain guaranties.

The effect on EBIT resulting from this agreement, which will be reflected in Daimler's financial statements for the second quarter of 2009, is estimated at up to US $0.7 billion. The payments to be made in the years 2009 through 2011 amount to US $200 million per annum.

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