Volkswagen owns or has controlling interests in three commercial truck operations: besides its own, VW began buying shares in Sweden's Scania in 2000 and now controls 89.2 percent of its shares and 62.6 percent of its capital, then bought into Germany's Man in 2006 - in order to prevent Man from trying to take over Scania - and now owns 75 percent of it. The car company has managed to work out 200 million euros in savings, but believes it can unlock a total of 650 million euros in savings if it takes outright control of Scania and can spread more common parts among the three divisions.

It has proposed a 6.7-billion-euro ($9.2 billion) buyout, but according to a Bloomberg report, Scania's minority investors don't appear inclined to the deal. Although effectively controlled by VW, Scania is an independently-listed Swedish company, and a profitable one at that: in the January-September 2013 period its operating profit was 9.4 percent compared to Man's 0.4 percent. Some of the other shareholders believe that Scania is better off on its own and will not approve the deal, some have asked an auditor to look into the potential conflict of interest between VW and Man, while some are willing to examine the deal and "make an evaluation based on what a long-term owner finds is good," which might not be just "the stock market price plus a few percent." The buyout will only be official assuming VW can reach the 90-percent share threshold that Swedish law mandates for a squeeze-out.

Many of the arguments against boil down to investors believing that Scania's Swedishness and unique offerings are what keep it profitable, and ownership by the German car company will kill that. (Have we heard that somewhere before?) If Volkswagen can buy that additional 0.8-percent share in Scania, perhaps its buyout wrangling with Man will give it an idea of what it's in for: "dozens" of minority investors in the German truckmaker have filed cases against VW, seeking higher prices for their shares. It is likely only to delay the inevitable, though. If VW is really going to compete with Daimler and Volvo in the truck market, it has to get the size, clout and savings to do so.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Ricky
      • 11 Months Ago
      Its not "Man", but rather "MAN", and should be pronounced as "Em-Aye-En"... Just some Euro trivia.
      billj
      • 11 Months Ago
      thats still 8 Billion less than Whatsapp, unbelievable.
      summazooma
      • 11 Months Ago
      SAAB Scania was the merged operations of cars (and airplanes) & trucks from 1968 and the 90s. SAABs turbo expertise arguably came from Scania. It would be a shame for Scania to lose its autonomy though its also doubtful that a regional power (without a protected market) could survive in the cross hairs of a competitor like VW.
      summazooma
      • 11 Months Ago
      Also, important to note that Volvo trucks also claim a Swedishness in trucks... How much room for the two? I see both trucks in Korea in significant numbers so maybe there is? Probably better if they were involved with a company not strong in their realms (Navistar?)
      Daniel
      • 11 Months Ago
      Screw Whatsapp, I would have bought Scania
      Aurio Salimonne
      • 11 Months Ago
      Why VW never got the Ssab name and build a new Saab? (I guess to much hassle from GM) they been with Scania for a long time and good for them to finally merge the whole company and keep the red Griffith safe from china,glad Tata own the Rover name at least!