GERMANY: Volkswagen may increase stake in MAN
Volkswagen has filed a request with the German cartel office to increase its stake in MAN to up to 30%, according to dpa-AFX news. The request was made on 19 October.
Volkswagen already owns 15.06% of the shares in MAN. That stake was acquired at the beginning of October following an attempted takeover of Scania by MAN. This made Volkswagen the largest shareholder in MAN and, as well as the largest shareholder in Scania.
MAN's original takeover offer for Scania, made before Volkswagen owned any shares in MAN, offered to buy Volkswagen out. Volkswagen is not interested in this and wants to maintain a strategic interest in the commercial vehicle sector, and eventually include its South American heavy truck business in the merger, if it is successful. Clearly, by owning a significant stake in MAN, Volkswagen will be able to exert considerable influence.
Volkswagen is currently supporting MAN's takeover of Scania, but has set criteria that mean it must first reach an agreement with Scania's second largest shareholder Investor. It set a deadline of mid-November for the parties to come up with an amicable solution.
But while the various parties are holding friendly talks, MAN and Volkswagen have exhibited some highly hostile behaviour. MAN has been building up shares in Scania, and now owns 10% of its shares. Volkswagen has done the same to MAN, and appears ready to increase its stake further.