Daimler Wins Appeal of $324 Million Award to Shareholders Over Chrysler Deal

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German automaker Daimler (DDAIF) has won its appeal of a court ruling that would have required it to pay €230 million ($324 million) to former Daimler-Benz shareholders who claimed they weren't adequately compensated in the $36 billion merger that created DaimlerChrysler.

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart, Germany, ruled that shareholders' interests were appropriately considered when the companies negotiated the 1998 deal, which was overwhelmingly approved by Daimler-Benz shareholders, Bloomberg News reported, citing an e-mailed statement from the court Friday.

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"If the agreement is result of a negotiation process which is backed by a large majority of shareholders, that's the best warranty that the executives took adequate care of the economic interests of their respective investors," the court said. "A court has only limited powers of review in these cases."

The ruling overturned a lower court decision that retroactively granted shareholders an additional €22.15 a share. In its decision, the lower court had argued the number of shares the plaintiffs received in the merged company didn't match the value of the stakes they had held in Daimler-Benz.
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