MAN withdrew its offer for Scania yesterday following talks with Scania’s major shareholders Volkswagen and Investor, who want to find a way to merge the MAN and Scania truck businesses, as well as those of Volkswagen heavy trucks, but could not achieve that while the takeover offer was still on the table.

The offer was due to stand until the end of January, but has been rejected by both Volkswagen and Investor.

MAN is not changing the conditions or the deadline of the offer. Rather it is asking the Swedish Swedish Securities Council to withdraw the offer as it is clear that the conditions will not be met by 31 January.

In a statement, MAN said that “As a shareholder of Scania, MAN is therefore looking forward to entering into further discussions during 2007 to seek a friendly combination of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Heavy Trucks.  At the same time MAN will continue to focus on developing its present businesses and to explore other opportunities to achieve greater efficiency through scale thereby increasing value to our shareholders. “

Shares in MAN rose this morning amidst speculation that Scania may launch a takeover offer for MAN, according to dpa-AFX.

Scania welcomed news that MAN had withdrawn its offer. In a statement Scania said that, “Scania is a strong business with best in class profitability and excellent growth prospects in its own right. The company is focused on developing to its full potential, driving strong and sustainable earnings growth and maximising value for all shareholders. The board has previously said it was open for discussions provided MAN withdrew its hostile offer. Such discussions must however build on industrial and commercial logic.”

Scania is due to report operating results tomorrow (25 January).

Sue Brown