FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen
VW's chairman Ferdinand Piech has long been itching to combine MAN and Sweden's Scania
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The German carmaker already owns a controlling stake in Scania and has triggered a mandatory offer for MAN by increasing its shareholding to more than 30 percent from 29.9 percent.
Its low-ball offer of 95 euros per share for MAN is seen as being deliberately unattractive in the same way as Spanish construction group ACS
Shares in MAN were trading 0.1 percent higher at 96.62 euros by 3:46 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, 1.7 percent above VW's offer price.
If few investors accept the offer, which values MAN at about 13.8 billion euros ($19.7 billion), VW will benefit by being allowed under German rules to then gradually buy shares in the market and by getting regulatory approval allowing closer cooperation between MAN and Scania.
In a first step, VW , which has a war chest of almost 20 billion euros, will spend about 1.5 billion euros to raise its stake in MAN to 35-40 percent of voting rights.
Eventually, it envisions a trucks group combining MAN and Scania and saving about 400 million euros of costs per year.
MAN will comment on VW's offer within two weeks, a spokesman for the truck maker said. He said MAN was in favor of cooperation with VW in principle as it saw industrial logic and potential savings in such a deal.
The announcement by VW, which is being advised on the deal by Credit Suisse
Since then, the two companies have struggled to progress in talks under VW's guidance. Last month's 4.9 billion euro rights issue of Porsche SE
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Andreas Kroener; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)