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VW makes $20B bid for MAN

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Volkswagen made a long-awaited bid for MAN, valuing it at $20 billion US and stepping up plans to merge the German truck maker with Swedish rival Scania in which it also holds a stake.

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car maker, said on Monday it would offer MAN shareholders €95 per ordinary share and about €60 per preference share, in both cases less than the stock was trading at last week ahead of the bid.

“This low-ball offer serves to start the takeover process but still have maximum flexibility,” MM Warburg analyst Marc-Rene Tonn said.

The offer, which values the whole of MAN at €13.76-billion ($19.79 billion U.S.), was triggered when VW increased its stake above 30 percent, requiring a mandatory bid for the remaining shares under German rules.

The price represents a 1.6-percent discount to Friday’s close of MAN common shares and 14.2-percent discount on Friday’s close for the preference shares.

VW already owned 29.9 percent of MAN ordinary shares, which turned positive after the announcement, trading 2.1 percent higher at €98.52. Volkswagen’s blue-chip preference shares narrowed losses to trade 1.5 percent lower at €128.45.

“The timing of the offer is unexpected, but it was clear it would come eventually,” MM Warburg’s Tonn said.

Volkswagen has been toying with plans to create Europe’s biggest truck maker by merging MAN with Scania, in which it has a controlling stake.

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