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Daimler-Benz and Swatch

The end of a strained (?) relationship

"BONN - Daimler-Benz AG took total control of the company that makes the recently introduced Smart car, buying out the 19% stake it doesn't already own from Swiss watch company Swatch Group AG ...

The deal brings to an end the strained relationship between Daimler-Benz and Swatch's parent company, SMH. Swatch president and inventor Nicolas Hayek first had the idea for the plastic-bodied car whose panels can be changed as easily as watch bands but he grew disillusioned with Daimler-Benz's management of the project ... For its part, Daimler-Benz considered Mr Hayek a difficult partner to work with, and the company frequently said it wanted to buy out SMH's stake."

Source: Brian Coleman, "Daimler-Benz Buys Out Smart-Car Partner SMH," The Wall Street Journal Europe, November 5, 1998.

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