German regulator BaFin rejects insider trading suspicions in Daimler shares

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German regulator BaFin rejects insider trading suspicions in Daimler shares
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Economy51 minutes ago (Aug 24, 2021 05:56PM ET)

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German regulator BaFin rejects insider trading suspicions in Daimler shares
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Aston Martin logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

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By Radhika Anilkumar and Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -Germany’s financial regulator BaFin looked into suspicions of insider trading in carmaker Daimler (OTC:)’s shares, including with respect to purchase of a stake in UK luxury carmaker Aston Martin by Mercedes’ Formula One boss, a spokesperson for the watchdog said on Tuesday.

BaFin looked into the trading at German company Daimler and passed information to counterparts at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding trading in Aston Martin shares, with FCA also finding no evidence to pursue a probe, the Financial Times newspaper reported earlier.

“I can confirm that BaFin looked into the transaction with regard to possible suspicions of insider trading (in Daimler securities), but did not find any clues”, the BaFin spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

FCA, Aston Martin and Daimler did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular working hours.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ Formula One boss, who owns about a third of the Mercedes team, purchased shares in Aston Martin in April last year while Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, also owns a minority stake in Aston Martin. Wolff bought a 0.95% stake in Aston Martin from a vehicle controlled by Lawrence Stroll, the UK carmaker’s executive chair, according to the FT.

In the following month, Aston Martin appointed Tobias Moers, the former head of Mercedes’ AMG business, as its CEO. In October, Daimler said it would raise its stake in Aston Martin to 20% by 2023.

Mercedes F1 said Wolff had not been aware of either plan when he acquired the shares and that “all relevant disclosures were made to the UK financial authorities at the appropriate time”, according to the FT. Wolff did not acquire or trade any Daimler shares or securities last year, the newspaper added.

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