Volkswagen have announced it now has bought enough shares in Scania to enable the German vehicle maker to buy out all of the existing shareholders. Swedish law requires any entity which controls 90 per cent of a company’s shares to buy out the remainder.
This marks the end of a drawn out process whereby Volkswagen initially bought a relatively small number of shares in Scania before persuading some the major investors to sell their more considerable holdings to hand over control of Scania. In 2014, VW set out to reach the 90 per cent trigger point whereby the last remaining shares out of VW’s control could be secured.
The question now for the trucking world is how Volkswagen will take this process forward. The VW organisation now controls a VW truck business in South America as well as two of the big five truck makers in Europe, MAN and Scania. It will be important to maintain some separation between the two European brands but increased co-operation is certainly on the agenda behind the scenes.
There is also speculation Volkswagen’s ambitions do not stop there, with the suggestion they are negotiating with a US truck maker with a view to extending into the North American truck market. There has been no formal confirmation of these moves but observers await developments with interest
The Volkswagen announcement confirmed the offer to Scania’s shareholders has been accepted to the extent that Volkswagen will hold more than 90 percent of the shares in Scania. After the confirmation, Scania’s President and CEO Martin Lundstedt made a statement.
“Volkswagen has been our main owner since 2000 and has consistently given strong support to Scania’s strategies, business model and investments,” said Lundstedt. “Following the clarification of the ownership structure, Scania and its management team welcomes the opportunity to accelerate our cooperation projects with Volkswagen and MAN without restrictions and thereby create a successful, global commercial vehicle alliance with strong identities for each brand.
“With the new opportunities to use the common resources and competencies in the Volkswagen Group, our ability to deliver profitable and sustainable solutions to our customers will be improved further. This will also support our growth strategy up to 2020. At Scania we will continue to develop our position as a centre of excellence for commercial vehicles, services and solutions going forward. I am also convinced that all of our employees will benefit from becoming full members of the Volkswagen family.”