* VW calls rumours "complete rubbish"
* VW shares fall as much as 1.4 pct
* Rumors of VW bid for U.S. truck maker nothing new
(Adds Breakingviews link)
By Edward Taylor and Andreas Cremer
FRANKFURT/BERLIN, July 3 Volkswagen
denied planning a bid for U.S. truck maker Paccar after
analysts published comments in a research note from a senior
executive of German rival Daimler saying he had heard
of such a plan.
According to Bernstein Research, Daimler Trucks Chief
Wolfgang Bernhard insisted that "serious, multiple sources"
informed him that VW was going to bid for Paccar in 2015.
A spokesman at VW's Wolfsburg-based headquarters
emphatically denied the rumours, calling them "complete
Daimler declined to comment while Paccar was not immediately
available for comment. Bernhard was briefing analysts at an
event hosted by Daimler Trucks late on Wednesday when he made
the comments, Bernstein said.
Shares in VW fell as much as 1.4 percent and were trading
0.7 percent lower at 191.40 euros as of 0907 GMT, valuing the
firm at 90.9 billion euros ($123.99 billion). Paccar had a
market capitalisation of $22.3 billion at Wednesday's close.
Europe's largest automotive group is pushing ahead with a
long-planned alignment of its heavy-trucks brands MAN SE and
Scania after its 6.7 billion-euro ($9.14 billion) bid for the
Swedish division was accepted by shareholders.
To be headed by Daimler's previous trucks chief, Andreas
Renschler, the VW-led alliance of heavy-duty vehicle makers aims
to deepen cooperation in areas including drive-trains, chassis
But Scania does not have a substantial presence in
the United States, while MAN is mainly active in
Europe as well as Brazil and other emerging economies.
Analysts have long predicted VW would seek to enter the
world's biggest trucks market, either via an acquisition of
Paccar or of troubled U.S. rival Navistar International,
to take on global trucks leaders Daimler and Volvo AB
VW has indicated that despite its large cash reserves of
17.7 billion euros at the end of March, it would seek to raise
funds for any further deals.
But Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn told the March 13
annual press conference that VW has no plans at present to
expand the group through further acquisitions as it is focusing
on integrating its 12-brand network.
Meanwhile, analysts questioned the rationale behind
"The only rational answer to our mind is that Daimler is
trying to make life difficult for anyone trying to further
consolidate the industry," said Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at
investment researchers ISI Group.
"There are probably few more efficient ways of doing this
than in front of a group of sellside analysts."
($1 = 0.7331
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Andreas
Cremer; Editing by Joseph Radford and Elaine Hardcastle)