Volkswagen buys Investor and Wallenberg stakes in Scania

By: Graham Gardiner

Volkswagen is to purchase the Investor and Wallenberg stakes in Scania. The company will purchase 134,711,900 A-shares or 30.62 percent

Volkswagen is to purchase the Investor and Wallenberg stakes in Scania. The company will purchase 134,711,900 A-shares or 30.62 percent of Scania’s voting rights, increasing its total votes in Scania to 68.6 percent (37.98 per cent), which corresponds to 37.73 percent of the capital (20.89 percent).

"Volkswagen has been a leading shareholder in Scania since the year 2000. We see it as a logical step that Volkswagen is now becoming the majority shareholder, underlining its long-term commitment to Scania and all its stakeholders," says Scania President and CEO Leif Östling.

Chairman Martin Winterkorn says Scania is a strong premium brand with a prosperous future.

"We will support the management of Scania and its team in executing the strategy of profitable growth," he says.

Volkswagen says it will keep and develop Scania as a premium brand and exercise its influence in the company to maximise long-term value for shareholders.

It also says it does not foresee further structural changes affecting the employees of the company, and it intends to maintain the headquarters and the engineering competence centres in Södertälje.

Scania Australia Managing Director Jose Badía says he welcomes Volkswagen’s acquisition.

"There are strategic implications for this purchase that are all good news for Scania. In the immediate future, however, there will be no change as far as customers of Scania Australia are concerned. It will be business as usual," he says.

The transaction clarifies the ownership situation in Scania and is a natural step following the ownership change in 2000, when Volkswagen became the lead shareholder.

Volkswagen became Scania’s lead shareholder in March 2000, when the planned merger between Scania and Volvo was blocked by EU antitrust authorities. Volkswagen acquired 18.7 percent of the capital and 34 percent of the votes in Scania from Investor, which committed to remain a shareholder for at least two years. Volvo remained a large shareholder in Scania until 2004, when it disposed its shares, partly through the specially created company Ainax. In 2005, Scania acquired Ainax, which was subsequently liquidated.

MAN became a shareholder following its bid for Scania in September 2006, which was withdrawn in January 2007. Today, MAN owns 13.2 percent of the capital and 17 percent of the votes. Following the waiver from the mandatory bid rules that Volkswagen received in February 2007, Volkswagen increased its holding in Scania to 20.9 percent of the capital and 38 percent of the votes. Moreover, Volkswagen owns 28.7 percent of the capital and 29.9 percent of the votes in MAN.

During the last year, Investor, the Wallenberg Foundations and Volkswagen have had discussions clarifying the Scania ownership structure. During these discussions, Volkswagen indicated its desire to become a majority shareholder in Scania.

The completion of the purchase is subject to merger clearance.

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