Daimler-Benz Becomes First German Company to List on NYSE

Theme: Clients

In post-unification Germany, Daimler-Benz looks to the international investment community for funding with its historic 1993 listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

On October 5, 1993, Daimler-Benz became the first German company to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Goldman Sachs served as a co-advisor in the listing. The move reflected the automaker’s increased focus on international markets as a source of financing.

One of the impediments to listing on the NYSE was the requirement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Daimler-Benz revise its accounting to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The change to these US accounting standards would require a costly restating of figures. Ultimately Daimler-Benz, the largest industrial company in Germany, adapted its accounting methods accordingly, increasing transparency and facilitating international comparisons.

The listing on the NYSE was another important step in the internationalization of Daimler-Benz as the company had recently listed its stock on the Tokyo, London, Vienna and Paris exchanges. Daimler-Benz stock was also listed on the eight German stock exchanges and since the mid-1970s in Basel, Geneva and Zurich. The international investor community was becoming increasingly important to the company as reunification efforts within Germany continued to consume a growing share of domestic investment.

Less than a year later, Goldman Sachs was also a member of the underwriting group, international marketing coordinator, and member of the international selling group of a global rights offering for Daimler-Benz. Even more significantly, the firm was an advisor in Daimler-Benz’s 1998 restructuring, as well as its US$36 billion purchase of American automaker Chrysler in 1999.