Volkswagen has announced that it has taken a 15.06% stake in truck and bus builder MAN.

In a statement, Volkswagen said it is not intending a full takeover of MAN. Rather, the move is designed to secure Volkswagen's strategic interests in the commercial vehicle industry and help realise synergies between MAN and Scania, in which Volkswagen also holds a stake.

The move followed an attempted takeover of Scania by MAN last month, which was rejected outright by Volkswagen, Scania's largest shareholder.

"Volkswagen has an industrial interest in the commercial vehicle industry, as underlined by our stake in Scania, our Brazilian heavy truck business, and our activities in the light commercial vehicle sector, said VW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder. "It is Volkswagen's clear aim, not just to keep this interest but to strengthen the possibilities for the business."

The statement added that there are a lot of potential synergies between MAN and Scania but, to realise these, both management teams need to operate in a co-operative environment. A hostile takeover, as attempted by MAN, is not a good way to start such cooperation.

Volkswagen confirmed recent reports that it does not think that MAN's offer to acquire Scania placed a fair value on Volkswagen's shares in Scania. The MAN offer placed the same value on shares with voting rights as those without. Volkswagen owns 34% of the voting rights in Scania but just 18.7% of the capital.

The Volkswagen statement mentioned the possible inclusion of its Brazilian truck business in any alliance between MAN and Scania, and said that there could also be some benefit in a marketing cooperation between Volkswagen light commercial vehicles business and the MAN and Scania heavy truck businesses. In some countries MAN and Scania may be able to benefit from offering a full range of commercial vehicles and having a single service network for vehicles of all classes.

Volkswagen also says it may have competences and experience in the area of financial services from which MAN and Scania may be able to benefit.