Dubai International Capital, a $6 billion private equity firm owned by the ruler of the Gulf Arab emirate, said today it has sold some of its shares in DaimlerChrysler to profit from higher share prices.
"We have sold," Anand Krishnan, the firm's COO, said when asked if Dubai International had cut its holding in the Stuttgart, Germany-based company.
"The target was a 20 percent internal rate of return, which was far exceeded," he said on the sidelines of a private equity conference, after an earlier comment from a spokeswoman saying the firm had "taken advantage of recent strength to reduce its holding."
The sale took place recently, she said, declining to give details.
Shares of DaimlerChrysler have surged more than 20 percent since Dubai International CEO Sameer al-Ansari said on Nov. 11 that he was considering selling some of his roughly 20 million shares in the automaker.
That made him DaimlerChrysler's fourth-largest shareholder, according to most recent Reuters data.
Dubai International bought the shares in January 2005 at 32 euros each. Today they were trading at 55.12 euros, or $73.29 at current exchange rates, a rise of 72.3 percent.
Ansari said in November he might sell some of Dubai International's stake when prices ranged between 45 euros and 50 euros.
The firm plans to boost the value of assets it manages more than three-fold to $20 billion within five years through further acquisitions, Krishnan said.
It is studying some of the world's 500 biggest companies by market value to buy stakes of between 2 percent and 3 percent for a fund it will manage, Krishnan said. It will decide during the next two months which proposals to pursue using $1 billion it raised last month, and make as much as $5 billion of purchases during the next 18 months to two years, Krishnan said.
"We are planning to invest during the next 18 to 24 months with $5 billion in all," Krishnan said. "We are looking at the top 500 companies," he said, declining to give more details.
Dubai International is in talks to buy Dubai-based luxury brand retailer Rivoli Group in a deal worth more than $500 million, the local Arabian Business magazine reported last month, without citing sources.
Rivoli represents foreign brands such as Montblanc, Links of London and Longines, Arabian Business said.