VW makes official bid for MAN trucks

31st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The biggest European automaker, Volkswagen, on Tuesday announced its official takeover offer for the heavy truck manufacturer MAN, which VW wants to fold into a new truck behemoth.

VW made its "mandatory public offer to all third-party shareholders of MAN SE for their shares" at a price of 95.00 euros ($136.80) for ordinary shares and 59.90 euros for preference shares.

The offer period began on Tuesday and runs until June 29, with the deal subject to regulatory approval, "including merger control clearances," a VW statement said.

"This offer represents a further step by Volkswagen towards the creation of an integrated commercial vehicle group consisting of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen," it added.

VW said on May 9 that it held more than 30 percent of MAN, meaning that under German law VW was obliged to make an offer for all outstanding shares in the group which also makes diesel engines and industrial turbines.

MAN is to be combined with the Swedish truck maker Scania and Volkswagen's own commercial vehicle unit to create a major manufacturer of heavy trucks.

VW owns 70.94 percent of the voting rights in Scania, while MAN owns another 17.4 percent.

Anti-trust restrictions have posed hurdles for a tie-up of heavy vehicle activities from all three brands however, VW noted earlier this month.

Its offer remained slightly below the current market level for MAN preference shares, which traded at 96.70 euros in morning deals on Tuesday.

VW is expected to proceed by steps, initially acquiring between 35 and 40 percent of the shares in MAN, allowing VW to weigh on strategic decisions and make savings of up to 200 million euros per year via joint purchasing for the three brands.

After that, "whether MAN buys Scania, or Scania buys MAN, there are several options, and we are keeping them all open," VW finance director Hans-Dieter Poetsch said when the offer was initially unveiled.

Meanwhile, VW is also striving to finalise its takeover of Porsche, which is slated to become the group's 10th brand once legal problems have been resolved.

Other VW brands include Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat and Skoda.

The group wants to become the world's biggest automaker by 2018.

© 2011 AFP

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