GERMANY: Volkswagen confirms MAN offer support

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 November 2006

Volkswagen's supervisory board has confirmed its support for the proposed MAN acquisition of Scania.

According to a statement on its website, Volkswagen has confirmed two resolutions adopted on 15 October, which say that it would only offer its 34% of Scania's voting rights and 18.7% of Scania's equity to MAN AG if MAN receives commitments to tender representing at least 71.31% of Scania's capital and at least 56.01% of Scania's voting rights. This means MAN has to first persuade Investor AB to sell its shares.

The second resolution said VW would not currently support a counter-bid by Scania.

Those two decisions were initially valid until 17 November. No new deadline has been given.

In a statement Volkswagen added, "if it is clear that the offer will not be successful, Volkswagen reserves the right to seek any alternative solution."

Scania again rejected MAN's offer last Thursday after the offer to Scania shareholders was published. It cited changes in exchange rates between the euro and the Swedish krona as a major concern. The official EUR 51.29 offer is now worth 464 Swedish Krona per share, down from the 475 krona at which MAN had previously valued the company by acquiring shares at that price in October.

Scania said it will raise the issue with the Swedish Securities Council, along with the fact that MAN's offer document does not mention that the Scania board rejected MAN's offer on 12 October.

A statement on Scania's website said: "The board of directors will finalise its review and [provide] a full response and reasoned statement to MAN's offer in due course."

The Wallenberg Group, which collectively owns over 30% of the shares in Scania, told dpa-AFX that it is its open to talks with all parties but that it will not rule out a counter-bid for the truck maker.