Volkswagen said on Monday (4 July, 2011) it now holds a majority of the heavy truck maker MAN. It was was obliged by German law to make a public offer for MAN shares after its holding rose  above 30%.

The group has now acquired 53.7% of the capital and 55.9% of the voting rights in MAN, paving the way for a tie-up with Scania of Sweden, which VW also owns. A merger of the two truck makers, alongside VW’s own heavy vehicle activities, creates a rival for Daimler Trucks and Volvo Trucks.

Regulatory approval for various parts of VW's plans are still to be obtained but the group is already identifying EUR200m (US$290m) in cost savings through joint purchasing.

VW chief Martin Winterkorn said: “Our objective of realising substantial synergies between MAN, Scania and Volkswagen in the interest of all shareholders, employees and customers is moving closer."

VW had initially sought only 35-40% of MAN's equity to provide it with a decisive vote during shareholder general assemblies, but a MAN spokesman told Agence France Presse: "Our shareholders have decided, MAN will belong to the VW family. We are opening a new chapter in MAN's long history."

MAN, which was founded 253 years ago as a steel company, said it plans to "take advantage of opportunities provided by this situation and fully support Volkswagen any way it can in examinations by European competition authorities."