Mercedes gets new back-seat driver

Luxury carmaker Mercedes has been bailed out by Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Aabar Investments.

It has paid £1.8 billion for 96.4 million new shares in German parent company Daimler, which posted a fourth-quarter loss of 1.5 billion euros (£1.4 billion) last month.

The company also warned of plunging sales this year as the global recession spells economic meltdown for the world`s auto industries.

Aabar is an investment company headquartered in the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It directly invests in various sectors including energy, infrastructure, real estate, automotive, financial services companies and Manchester City.

Its largest stakeholder is the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Aabar chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi told the Telegraph newspaper: "Daimler is an iconic brand and a financially strong company with a reputation for excellence worldwide. We are excited by the commercial potential of our partnership."

A technical training centre in the emirate to train students for careers in the automotive industry is now top of the agenda for the investment group.

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