Talks between MAN and Scania, and Scania's second largest shareholder, Investor, aimed at setting a framework for a friendly merger appear to have broken down, ahead of a deadline set for this Friday, 17 November.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's leading financial newspaper, reported today (15 November) that MAN's only option is to go ahead with its unsolicited bid to acquire Scania, in the hope that Scania's largest shareholder, Volkswagen, supports the bid.

The report has not been confirmed by Scania or MAN.

MAN told Reuters that the company intends to publish bid documents by mid-November as stated, and that the offer will last until mid-December.

Scania unions yesterday (14 November) issued a statement saying that they opposed the MAN bid because they are concerned that jobs would be lost in Sweden rather than in Germany.

An agreement with unions has guaranteed jobs at MAN until 2012, and unions there have recently been reassured that the guarantees will remain in place after a merger with Scania, if the merger goes ahead.

Volkswagen's supervisory board meets next Friday to determine its strategy. Volkswagen is in favour of a shareholder but gave MAN until Friday to reach a friendly agreement with Investor. It will also formally appoint a new CEO of Volkswagen Group following the resignation of Bernd Pischetsrieder. The two separate major issues may end up being connected as its has been mooted that Pischetsrieder may play a major role in any MAN/Scania merger, or at least in Volkswagen's heavy truck business.

Pischetsrieder has resigned his position as CEO but will probably work on special assignments within the group until his contract runs out in 2012.

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