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SCANIA

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MAN initally launched a 10-billion-euro (13.6-billion-dollar) hostile bid to buy Scania last year, but this was later withdrawn and the three companies had been trying to find an amicable solution for a tie-up.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

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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