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SCANIA

Scania shares soar over bid rumours

Shares in Swedish heavy truck manufacturer soared by almost 20 percent on the Stockholm stock exchange on Wednesday amid rumours that German industrial conglomerate MAN was preparing a bid for the group.

The Scania issue was up by 18.23 percent to 421.50 kronor on Wednesday about 90 minutes after trading opened, a day after the stock had been suspended due to takeover rumours that had pushed it up by nine percent.

According to Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri, Swedish financial holding group Investor, one of the main Scania shareholders, would be ready to sell its stake to MAN.

Investor, the investment holding group of the powerful industrial and financial Wallenberg family empire, holds 10.8 percent of the capital and 19.3 percent of votes in Scania.

Investor holds big stakes in many of Sweden’s biggest companies, including Ericsson and Electrolux.

However, Dagens Industri and the Financial Times reported that German automaker Volkswagen, Scania’s main shareholder with 18.7 percent of the capital, is not interested in selling its stake.

Rumours have been circulating of a takeover since Tuesday.

Scania said in a statement after the stock market’s closure on Tuesday that it had reason to believe MAN would launch a bid.

“Scania announces that the company has received information to the effect that there are reasonable grounds to assume that MAN will make a bid for the company,” it said.

In Germany, a MAN spokesman declined to comment on speculation but said the group’s supervisory board had met on Tuesday.

He declined to say what had been on the agenda and there were no plans for the meeting to continue on Wednesday.

SCANIA

Volkswagen gets shares to take over Scania

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, was set to take full control of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania on Tuesday after a small but crucial shareholder agreed to sell its shares.

Volkswagen gets shares to take over Scania
 
Swedish pension fund Alecta previously held out for a higher share price but agreed to sell its 2.04-percent stake in Scania, paving the way for Volkswagen to acquire full control the company.
   
On April 30, the German car giant said it lacked less than two percent more shares to reach its 90 percent goal, and thereby force the sale of the remaining shares.
   
"After new discussions with Volkswagen we have concluded that there will be no increase in their offer," Alecta said in a statement, referring to Volkswagen's refusal to pay more than 200 kronor ($30.5) per share.
   
In February, Volkswagen offered €6.7 billion ($9.3 billion) to acquire the nearly 40 percent of Scania it did not already own and to strengthen its position against its German competitors Daimler and the Swedish truck maker Volvo.
   
Scania's board of directors recommended shareholders not to part with shares at the price offered.
   
The offer expired on April 25th. However, confident that shareholders could be won over, Volkswagen extended its offer to May 16.
   
The German auto giant already owns truck and bus-maker MAN and bought into Scania in 2000.
   
It had previously said that it could make annual savings of €650 million through economies of scale by taking full control of the Swedish company.
   
The takeover is just the latest to hit Sweden's beleaguered vehicle manufacturing sector which has seen Chinese takeovers of the once iconic car brands Saab and Volvo.
   
Volvo Trucks announced more than 4,000 job cuts over the last six months and a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed to cut costs and increase profitability.
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