Daimler Seeks Stake in Russian Truck Group Kamaz

Company deciding how best to serve the market -- build or buy a stake in this company

Daimler said on Dec. 10 that it had officially filed a request with Russian authorities to take a stake in the truck maker Kamaz.

Daimler has said it will decide by the end of the year whether to invest in Russia, a fast-growing market the German group feels is key to its heavy truck activities. But it is hesitating between building its own plant or buying a stake in Kamaz, with even the size of a potential holding put in question by the financial crisis and slumping automobile market.

Daimler had initially said it was in exclusive talks on a 42% stake in Kamaz but Sergey Chemezov, president of the Russian group's supervisory board, said last month that Daimler now only wants 10% owing to the price.

The cost of a 42% holding had been estimated at $2 billion.

"The decision has not been taken yet. We are still looking at the options," the Daimler spokeswoman said. "We still expect to decide by the end of the year."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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