VW to take driving seat in plan to merge truck giants MAN and Scania

GERMAN lorry giant MAN and Swedish rival Scania are in talks about a link-up that could pave the way for Volkswagen to take full control of both.

VW, which owns stakes in both companies, is understood to be planning to boost its holding in Scania to between 75-80 per cent from nearly 46 per cent currently, with its near 30 per cent stake in MAN going to the Swedish firm.

Scania and MAN said they had not reached a decision as they reacted to reports that VW was seeking a new plan for its truck operations. VW has a €19.6bn (£16.6bn) war chest and is thought to be making enough cash to buy both MAN and Scania.

Scania said the two firms have studied for some time various possible industrial projects that would save money in research and development, manufacturing and supply.

“This process has shown that a full realisation of potential synergies requires a closer co-operation by combining the two companies,” it said.

MAN, which unsuccessfully tried to buy Scania four years ago, described the talks as “mutually friendly”.