SWEDEN: Mutual benefits seen in Volvo/Nissan Diesel merger
Volvo's JPY 540 cash per share offer for Nissan Diesel valuing the truck maker at SEK7.5bn (GBP211.5m) will bring advantages to the Japanese firm, according to Volvo CEO Leif Johansson.
Volvo, which announced the bid on Tuesday, already owns a 19% holding in Nissan Diesel and preference shares which can be converted to an additional 27.5%.
"With Volvo as owner, Nissan Diesel gains the resources and the financial stability needed to fully capitalise on the opportunities that a closer cooperation offers to both parties," Johansson said in a statement.
The offer is open until 23 March and is dependent on necessary approvals from anti-trust authorities. The Nissan Diesel board yesterday said it approved the proposed takeover.
"Nissan Diesel's products and know-how represent a valuable complement to the group's truck business," added Johansson. "Nissan Diesel holds a solid position in Japan and the rest of Asia where the Volvo group foresees substantial growth potential. A merger offers both parties even greater possibilities to learn and benefit from each other's know-how and resources."
"During our joint synergy study, great trust grew between the companies and I believe that the merger is the best alternative for Nissan Diesel's future," said Iwao Nakamura, the truck maker's president.
Since Volvo's first purchase of shares in Nissan Diesel, Volvo's deputy CEO Jorma Halonen was appointed vice chairman. Halonen also sees major mutual advantages with an even closer cooperation.
"Nissan Diesel can benefit from the Volvo group's resources and know-how, but Volvo can also benefit greatly from Nissan Diesel's experience of medium-heavy trucks and its expertise in, for example, hybrid technology," he said.
The study of co-ordination possibilities carried out jointly by Volvo and Nissan Diesel identified synergies over five years of about EUR200m (GBP135m) annually.
The major portion of the integration gains is as a result of increased purchasing volumes, but positive effects also arise within product development, engines and drivelines. Other gains arise in that the companies have access to each other's dealer and service networks, primarily in Asia but also in other parts of the world.