VW gains majority of voting rights in MAN

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Volkswagen, the biggest European automaker, said on Monday that it now holds 55.9 percent of the voting rights in heavy truck maker MAN, paving the way for a tie-up with Scania of Sweden.

VW wants to merge the two companies along with its own heavy vehicle activities to create a rival for two other European heavyweights, Daimler Trucks and Volvo Trucks.

VW had offered 95.00 euros ($138.51) for ordinary shares and 59.90 euros for preference shares in MAN, which also makes diesel engines and industrial turbines.

It thus paid a little more than 3.4 billion euros for 35,857,607 of the former and 164,613 of the latter, according to a VW statement.

"Volkswagen is more than pleased with the result," the statement quoted VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn ad saying.

"As a result, our objective of realizing substantial synergies between MAN, Scania and Volkswagen in the interest of all shareholders, employees and customers is moving closer," he added.

VW would now work hard to obtain necessary global regulator approvals for "a closer cooperation of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen," the group said.

VW had recently passed the threshold of owning 30 percent of MAN, meaning that under German law it was obliged to make an offer for all outstanding shares in the company.

The automaker also owns 70.94 percent of the voting rights in Scania, while MAN owns another 17.4 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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