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German automaker VW takes 15 percent stake in truckmaker MAN

German automaker VW takes 15 percent stake in truckmaker MAN

Automaker Volkswagen AG said Wednesday it has taken a 15 percent stake in truckmaker MAN AG and will use it to support cooperation between MAN and Scania AB.
Earlier this month, Munich-based MAN made euro9.6 billion (US$12.2 billion) hostile bid for Scania, in which Volkswagen already owns an 18.7 percent stake. Scania's management and Volkswagen have rejected the bid.
Instead, Volkswagen, which has its own, Brazilian-based truck business as well as the Scania stake, now says it is seeking to protect its position in the industry by pursuing what it described as the "industrial logic" of Scania and MAN gaining efficiency advantages by working together.
"The investment should allow Volkswagen to secure its strategic interest in the truck sector and should make possible a friendly and jointly developed solution, which achieves maximum synergies," Volkswagen said in a statement.
Scania is Europe's No. 4 makers of commercial vehicles, behind MAN, which is No. 3.
"In light of indications in the market of a hostile takeover attempt of MAN by third parties, this investment in MAN is essential to secure Volkswagen's interest," the statement said.
MAN shares dropped 8.2 percent to euro67.95 (US$86.11), while Scania shares were up 4.3 percent at 458 kronor (euro49.09 US$62.53) in Stockholm trading. Volkswagen shares gained 1.6 percent to euro67.98 (US$86.15)
Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, which also has its own truck business, said it wasn't interested in a full takeover of MAN.
Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder said last week at the Paris auto show that he preferred a "friendly alliance" between the two companies, instead of a takeover, arguing that VW's stake in Scania, which gives it 34 percent of the voting rights, was "strategic" to its own operations and interests.
Scania and its major shareholders, including VW and Investor AB, rejected MAN's offer, saying it did not reflect the company's true worth.
Analysts have said repeatedly that MAN would not be able to mount any takeover without Volkswagen's support.