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SCANIA

Scania chief apologises for blitzkrieg comments

Scania's CEO Leif Östling has apologised for comments he made on Tuesday comparing truck manufacturer MAN's tactics to those of Germany's blitzkrieg campaign in the Second World War.

“During Scania’s capital markets day on 6 December I made some comments about Germany that have been interpreted in a way that was not intended.

“These statements were never meant to be perceived as offensive, but if that is the case, I deeply regret it and apologise,” said Östling.

On Tuesday Östling said that while Germans were very good at blitzkrieg, they usually went on to lose the war.

Should MAN eventually take over Scania, Östling’s comments are unlikely to stand him in good stead when the German company decides who it should keep on.

“We cannot imagine a CEO for an international company making such comparison,” a spokesman for MAN told the Financial Times.

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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