MAN to launch bid for Scania

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German truck maker MAN is expected to launch a £6.4 billion takeover bid for Swedish rival Scania in a move that would make it Europe’s largest manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles.

Scania, has resisted bids in the past – notably from Swedish rival Volvo – arguing that there are few economies of scale in the truck business. It has two major shareholders, Volkswagen, which has about 34 per cent of the shares and the Wallenberg family.

MAN appears confident that it will get the support of Volkswagen and it has been suggested that, in a second stage of the deal, it might take over Volkswagen’s own truck building activities.

MAN chief executive Hakan Samuelsson knows the Scania business well, having been a senior manager there for many years before joining MAN.

The two companies have also stood out against the move by the rest of the truck industry to embrace SCR technology to meet Euro 4 emission regulations. They argue that it is better to have an engine that runs clean in the first place using EGR technology. The SCR system allows the engine to put out a lot of pollutants which are cleaned up by squirting urea into the exhaust.

The move is also likely to spark speculation over other mergers and alliances in the European truck market notably involving Iveco and Paccar, parent of DAF.

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