MAN to increase bid for Swedish rival with additional votes

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — German truckmaker MAN AG moved closer to its goal of creating Europe’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer today when it increased its shares in Swedish rival Scania.

With the shares purchase, MAN — which has been trying to gain control of Scania for over a month — now controls 14.3 percent of Scania’s voting rights and has 11.5 percent equity stake in the company, according to reports.

MAN says it is raising its cash-and-stock offer by another 7 percent to 51.29 euros per Scania share, valuing the Swedish truckmaker at 10.3 billion euros.

The move is expected to step-up pressure on Scania, which has rejected several merger advances by MAN.

“Following our announcement on Monday, we have again actively sought to commence friendly talks. Unfortunately, our invitation was not taken up. As a result we have taken this step to increase the likelihood of a combination,” MAN chairman Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

Carmaker Volkswagen — which has an 18.7 percent stake in Scania and a 15 percent share in MAN — will likely play a key role in any merger deal.

— from Boomberg, Associate Press

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