FRANKFURT (Reuters) –- Daimler's Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber refuted speculation on Friday that the company could be acquired, amid news reports that Gulf emirate Abu Dhabi and its Aabar investment fund is exiting its stake.
"We are not a takeover candidate, we're a healthy company with a balanced shareholder structure," the CFO told reporters during a conference call after Daimler published first-quarter financial results.
Daimler expects to achieve a free cash flow from its industrial operations this year that is more than enough to fund its April dividend payment of 2.35 billion euros, a spokesman for the company said.
He was clarifying a comment Uebber made during the conference call referring to "operating cash flow," explaining that Uebber meant free cash flow from ongoing operations.
"This does not include any possible cash contributions for pension obligations or any investments stemming from mergers and acquisitions," Uebber had said.
Last week, Germany's manager magazin reported that Abu Dhabi is currently discussing ways of disposing of its remaining 3 percent stake in Daimler. The Gulf state invested 1.95 billion euros through its Aabar investment fund in Daimler in March 2009, providing an injection of fresh capital in the midst of the global recession.
Bloomberg contributed to this report