DaimlerChrysler AG said it will buy Volvo AB's 3.3% stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. for $297 million, clearing the way for a truck alliance with its Japanese affiliate.
According to Bloomberg,DaimlerChrysler paid $143 million for the shares and $153 million for the rights to the planning and development of Mitsubishi vehicles from Volvo. The Swedish truckmaker paid $270 million for the stake in 1999.
DaimlerChrysler became Mitsubishi Motors' largest shareholder last year after it bought 34% of it. The purchase will strengthen an alliance with the Japanese company in trucks, a task it found to be difficult while Volvo held a stake.
Volvo had been planning to take a 20% stake in Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Co. if Mitsubishi Motors proceeded with plans to separate its commercial vehicle and passenger car operations this July. Mitsubishi Motors said today it has now dropped those plans to spin off the Fuso unit in the wake of Volvo's stake sale.
Analysts expect Volvo's attention may now turn to Nissan Diesel Motor Co. Nissan Motor Co. said last month it's open to discussions with Volvo on a possible stake sell. However, Volvo CEO Leif Johansson declined to answer specific questions about Nissan Diesel.
Johansson said Volvo is content for now with its presence in Asia and medium-sized trucks through Renault.