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European commission puts breaks on VW's plan of taking control of MAN SE.

New Delhi, June 28 -- The Europe's largest automobile player Volkswagen (VW) AG which is in a quest to further its horizons outside Europe has reportedly suffered a setback in its efforts to create Europe's biggest truck maker as a European regulator pushed it to drop plans to take control of MAN SE's supervisory board.

According to reports, the German carmaker, which has made a takeover offer for MAN that expires on Wednesday, had wanted several of its managers to take seats on MAN's board at the truck maker's annual shareholders' meeting in Munich. The move is part of VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech's plan to create Europe's biggest truck maker by combining MAN and Sweden's Scania to take on world Number 1 player Daimler and its next biggest rival Volvo. But the European Commission said VW's overly hasty grasp for control would breach merger rules and told Europe's biggest carmaker to wait for regulatory approval of closer cooperation of VW, MAN and Scania.

The reports quoted a spokeswoman for EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia as saying "One cannot exercise control ahead of the Commission's decision." Meanwhile, VW said it was withdrawing its proposal to appoint VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, VW CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch and trucks chief Jochem Heizmann to MAN's board. The group said it was in talks with the European Commission and was confident it could submit the formal application for merger control clearance in the coming weeks. It was also mentioned that VW launched a low-ball bid valuing MAN at about euro 13.8 billion ($19.5 billion) last month, aiming to raise its stake in the truck maker to 35-40 per cent of voting rights for now to get regulatory approval for closer cooperation between MAN and Scania without buying the whole company.

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Publication:Wheels Unplugged
Date:Jun 28, 2011
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