Daimler-Benz Talking to Nissan
May. 10, 1998
TOKYO (AP) _ Daimler-Benz, which last week said it would buy Chrysler, is in talks with Nissan Motor Co. to buy a controlling stake in its truck-manufacturing affiliate, Japanese media reported Sunday.
The German maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars is negotiating with Nissan to buy a controlling share in Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Japan's fourth largest truck maker, the Yomiuri Shimbun and others reported. A deal could be struck by June, the paper said.
Nissan Motor spokesman Masayuki Yamazaki said he couldn't comment, and spokesmen for Nissan Diesel and Daimler couldn't immediately be reached about the reports out of Japan.
The reports follow one Saturday in the Hamburg-based Der Spiegel newsmagazine, which said Daimler is in negotiations with Nissan over the purchase of its truck-building operations.
Daimler spokesman Roland Klein declined Saturday to confirm the Spiegel report.
Nissan Diesel is struggling with poor earnings in the wake of the Asian economic crisis and a weakening sales at home.
The acquisition would help Daimler strengthen its Asian operations. Nissan Motor, Japan's second largest automaker, wants to be relieved of the burden of bailing out the troubled truck manufacturing unit, the Yomiuri said.
Nissan Motors, would like to sell most of its 39.8 percent share in the truckmaker because it has been carrying much of the burden of supporting the troubled company, according to the paper.
Nissan Motors, Japan's No. 2 carmaker, has been helping the truck maker by passing along some of its own small-truck manufacturing business.
Toyo Keizai, a financial information provider, forecast Nissan Diesel will post a net loss of 2 billion yen ($15.4 million) for the fiscal year ending March 1999.
In a deal announced Thursday, Daimler-Benz will acquire Chrysler, the No. 3 U.S. automaker, for $37 billion creating the world's third largest car company in terms of revenues.