Scania shareholder rejects MAN offer

18-09-2006

A major shareholder in Swedish truckmaker Scania has reportedly rejected a €9.6 billion (£6.5 billion) takeover offer for the group by German rival, MAN.

MAN had said that it will offer €38.35 (£25.81) in cash and 0.151 new MAN shares for each Scania share as part of a deal which would create Europe's largest truckmaker.

MAN chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said that the deal, which values each Scania share at €48 (£32.30), would create a "European champion and a global player positioned to achieve profitable growth in existing and new markets".

Analysts have long anticipated that truckmakers within the European market will begin to consolidate their businesses in order to compete more effectively at a global level.

But MAN's takeover offer has already been rejected by one of Scania's key shareholders.

Investor, which holds most of the Wallenberg family's 29 per cent stake in Scania, said that MAN's offer did not reflect the Swedish company's full value or potential.

"We have looked at the bid from a strictly business point of view and overall our assessment is that this is not good for Scania and shareholders," said Investor spokesman Fredrik Lindgren.

Commentators claim that Investor's rejection of the offer will jeopardise MAN's takeover bid, which is conditional on the German firm acquiring 90 per cent of Scania stock.

MAN has already agreed a deal with French carmaker Renault to take control of its five per cent stake in Scania.

Volkswagen, which owns a 34 per cent stake in the Swedish firm, has said that it will make a statement on the MAN offer tomorrow.

Meanwhile, despite Investor's rejection of the Scania takeover bid, MAN chief executive Mr Samuelsson told analysts in a conference call that he remained confident the German firm would get "broad support for our concept in the end".

Scania itself has yet to comment on the proposed takeover deal.


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