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July 28, 2008
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KamAZ Teams Up with Daimler
Troika Dialog has found a strategic partner for major Russian truckmaker KamAZ. The German Daimler will buy 42 percent of the stock in the plant by yearend. That package is estimated to be worth approximately $2 billion. Ruben Vardanyan, chairman of the board of Troika Dialog, which owns 54.4 percent of KamAZ, disclosed the deal to Interfax on Friday. Daimler began due diligence of the plant two weeks ago. That will last until September or October.
KamAZ attracted Daimler with the high capacity of its works (more than 50,000 vehicles) and broad dealers network (more than 300 in Russia). Russia is Europes largest market for trucks, with 154,000 trucks with a hauling capacity of over 6 tons sold last year. The market is expected to grow by at least 20 percent in the next two years. KamAZ occupies 30 percent of that market.

In February of this year, Troika Dialog was able to sell 25 percent of the stock in AvtoVAZ to the French Renault concern for $1.166 billion. It began its search for a partner for KamAZ in April At the beginning of this month, Rostekhnologia chief Sergey Chemezov noted that negotiations were underway with Daimler, Iveco and Volvo. Rostekhnologia will receive the 37.8-percent state package in KamAZ.

According to a Kommersant source, if due diligence passes without hitch, Daimler will buy shares exclusively from Troika Dialog, leaving it with 12.4 percent of the truckmaker. Daimler will pay the market price. A package of that size cost $1.7 billion on the MICEX yesterday morning, and $1.8 billion yesterday at the close of trading. KamAZ capitalization rose 6 percent, even as the MICEX index fell 5.5 percent. Troika Dialog will eventually sell its remaining shares in KamAZ, either to Daimler or on the stock exchange. Sergey Kogogin will remain the plants general director.

All the Article in Russian as of July 28, 2008

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