No go for Scania-MAN trucking merger – report

Plans to merge Swedish truck-maker Scania with Germany's MAN and parts of Volkswagen have been called off, according to the German weekly magazine Focus, quoting an unidentified manager involved.

The two groups have stopped talking “and there is no chance of reaching an agreement” to create Europe’s largest heavy truck-maker ahead of Volvo-Renault Trucks, the source said.

At the request of Volkswagen, which has a stake in both companies, Scania boss Leif Östling and his MAN counterpart Hakan Samuelsson met but failed to make any headway.

According to Focus, Östling set out conditions which VW could not accept, namely that Scania should be the senior partner of the merged group, with its headquarters in Sweden.

The report, to appear in next week’s Focus, said Östling was backed by Swedish investor Peter Wallenberg, who holds 30 percent of Scania.

The Financial Times Deutschland last month quoted a source close to the negotiations as saying that, “A simple sale of Scania to a German company is not done that easily without damaging (Wallenberg’s) reputation in Sweden.”

It also said that MAN shares had been performing better than Scania’s, making a merger less attractive to the Swedish side.

Volkswagen owns a 34-percent stake in Scania and a 30-percent stake in MAN, while MAN holds a 14.8-percent stake in Scania.

MAN initally launched a 10-billion-euro (13.6-billion-dollar) hostile bid to buy Scania last year, but this was later withdrawn and the three companies had been trying to find an amicable solution for a tie-up.

MAN spokesman Wieland Schmitz could not confirm the Focus report on Saturday, telling AFP, “As far as I know there is nothing new.”