ABU DHABI --Daimler's major shareholder is very satisfied with its investment.
"Daimler is the most exciting investment that we have ever done," said Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny, CEO of the Aabar investment company, in an interview with Automobilwoche.
"There aren't many industry icons in the world, and we had the chance to take a stake of nearly 10 percent in a single stroke," he said.
An important criterion for the purchase was Daimler's solid management. "The company has a good track record," Al-Husseiny said.
Aabar bought 9.1 percent of the Stuttgart-based automaker for the low price of 1.95 billion euros ($2.75 billion at current exchange rates) last year. That made Aabar Daimler's largest shareholder, putting it ahead of Kuwait with 6.9 percent.
"A large part of our financial success in 2009 is based on our commitment to Daimler," Al-Husseiny said.
Publicly traded Aabar, whose largest shareholder is IPIC, the government holding company of the Gulf state of Abu Dhabi, has major strategic plans for Daimler. It has already announced its desire to expand its stake to 15 percent.
"For us, the cash return is not the focus," he said. "We want to invest in sectors that move us ahead significantly in other areas," Al-Husseiny said, responding to a question about return on investment and the expected dividend.