Volkswagen gets EU clearance for MAN takeover

Munich, Germany: European Union authorities have cleared Volkswagen’s bid to takeover of German truck maker MAN.

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, obtained EU antitrust approval without the need for asset sales or other remedies because the “merged entity would continue to face strong competition from other well-established manufacturers,” the European Commission said yesterday.

Volkswagen triggered a mandatory bid for MAN by raising its stake to 30.5% from 29.9% on May 9 to pave the way for closer cooperation between Munich-based MAN and Sweden’s Scania AB , which VW already controls. A three-way truck alliance may save as much as €1bn  ($1.35 billion) in annual costs, according to VW.

Volkswagen will own 55.9% of MAN’s voting rights after the deal closes. VW said on August 23 that “numerous” national authorities already approved the planned combination. The company sought 40 percent of MAN’s voting rights in May when it started the bid.

Volkswagen said in a statement after gaining EU approval that it assumes the remaining outstanding completion conditions will be fulfilled during the coming weeks.

“Substantial synergies can be realized through a closer cooperation of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen in the fields of procurement, development and production, the company said.

The combination of MAN and Scania will leapfrog Sweden’s Volvo AB and Germany’s Daimler AG to create Europe’s largest truck maker. MAN and Scania together had 30% of the European heavy-truck market last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Volvo and Daimler each had 21%.