November 28, 2009 / 2:53 PM / in 9 years

VW to fold MAN, Scania into trucks unit: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s (VOWG.DE) plans to lift its stake in MAN SE (MANG.DE) to above 50 percent and fold the truckmaker into a new commercial-vehicles group at VW, a German magazine reported on Saturday.

A Volkswagen logo sign is seen inside the lobby of the U.S. headquarters building of Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Virginia, September 18, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing

The new structure of VW’s trucks businesses should be drawn up before 2011, the year VW had planned to hammer out its tie-up with Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), business weekly Wirtschaftswoche cited people familiar with the matter as saying in an excerpt of an article to be published on Monday.

The news comes amid a separate report that MAN is bracing for a prolonged downturn in the truck market.

VW finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch would be put in charge of the truck integration and eventually of running the new division, weekly Wirtschaftswoche said.

The group would also include Scania SCVb.ST, in which VW holds a 71 percent voting stake.

VW currently owns about 30 percent in MAN.

A VW spokesman said the carmaker declined to comment on speculation.

Management upheaval at German truckmaker MAN continued on Friday when a second senior executive tendered his resignation just days after chief executive Hakan Samuelsson chose to leave the company.

In a separate article, a German Sunday newspaper reported MAN expected its truck production next year to stay at the low levels of 2009.

MAN’s trucks division could use as little as half of its output capacity in the first six months of 2010, Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported, citing production plans it obtained.

The European market for heavy trucks plunged 57 percent in October, falling for the 18th month straight, data published on Wednesday showed.

Shedding more light on the future ownership of Volkswagen, weekly Der Spiegel said the Porsche and Piech families will hold a 30 percent between them in a combined VW and Porsche SE entity, less than the 40 percent the families had initially targeted.

The German state of Lower Saxony would hold 20 percent plus one share and the Emirate of Qatar would hold 20 percent minus one share, Der Spiegel also said, citing no sources.

Porsche SE, which is 90 percent controlled by the Porsche and Piech clans, at the moment holds 51 percent of voting shares in VW, Lower Saxony owns slightly more then 20 percent while Qatar owns 6.8 percent.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Christiaan Hetzner in Frankfurt and Jan Schwartz in Hamburg, editing by Mike Peacock

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