* VW now holds 55.9 percent of MAN voting rights
* VW was aiming for a 35-40 percent stake
* Outcome paves way for cooperation between MAN, Scania
* MAN shares fall 1.8 pct, VW gains 0.5 pct
(Adds market data)
FRANKFURT, July 4 Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE)
clinched a 55.9 percent stake in Munich-based truckmaker MAN SE
, clearing the way for the carmaker to start building
its European truck empire.
Volkswagen's majority stake allows it to determine seats on
the supervisory board, a way to accelerate cooperation between
MAN and VW's Swedish brand Scania SCVb.ST.
"Volkswagen is more than pleased with the result,"
Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said in a statement
on Monday. "As a result, our objective of realizing substantial
synergies between MAN, Scania and Volkswagen in the interest of
all shareholders, employees and customers is moving closer."
VW's influential Chairman Ferdinand Piech has been itching
to create Europe's biggest truckmaker to compete with rivals
such as Volvo (VOLVb.ST) and Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and expand the
reach of Volkswagen's sphere.
Scania and MAN between them produced 172,000 trucks above
six tonnes in weight last year, compared with Daimler's 274,000
units, with the latter accounting for about 10 percent of global
truck output, data from IHS Global Insight showed. With 171,000
units, Volvo accounted for 6.2 percent.
MAN, which loses its independence after 253 years in
business, welcomed the fact that it now belongs to the VW
family. A spokesman said: "The cooperation with Volkswagen and
Scania now enters a new, offensive stage."
Shares in MAN were among the strongest decliners in
Germany's blue chip DAX index , falling 1.8 percent to
93.581 euros by 1028 GMT, while VW shares edged up 0.49 percent.
The acceptance of VW's offer was stronger than expected,
said DZ Bank analyst Michael Punzet.
"We expect ongoing rumours of additional buying of MAN
shares by VW and a possible domination agreement in the coming
month despite the fact, that without the closing of the offer,
it does not really make sense for VW to by additional MAN shares
directly," he added.
VW launched a low-ball bid valuing MAN at about 13.8 billion
euros ($20.07 billion) in May, aiming to raise its stake in the
truckmaker to 35-40 percent.
Sources told Reuters on Friday that Europe's largest auto
maker had clinched a majority stake in MAN.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor, Eva Kuehnen and Andreas Kroener;
Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Jon
Loades-Carter and Hans-Juergen Peters)