According to Der SPIEGEL magazine, Volkswagen wants the MAN CEO out of the way because he is standing in the way of the car company’s plans to include its Latin American truck operations in the merger of MAN and Scania.
At the next MAN annual general meeting, Volkswagen will elect two representatives to the MAN supervisory board, and then seek Samuelsson’s removal, according to the magazine. That should make it easier for a friendly merger of Scania and MAN to take place.
Volkswagen acquired a 15% stake in MAN last year, after it launched a proposal to take over Scania, in which Volkswagen is the largest shareholder. Volkswagen has wanted a greater presence in the global heavy truck industry for some time and the proposed merger of MAN and Scania was seen as an opportunity for Volkswagen to do just that.
MAN’s proposed acquisition of Scania has not won the approval of shareholders, but Scania’s largest shareholders, the Wallenburg family and Volkswagen Group, are in favour of a merger in principle, and are trying to find a way for it to proceed.
Scania CEO, Leif Ostling, is resisting the merger but he may find it easier to approve if Samuelsson is removed. Samuelsson was a former colleague of Ostling at Scania and relations between the two men have been particularly hostile since MAN’s takeover offer was first announced.