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Volkswagen Takes Majority Stake In MAN

VW has secured majority stake in truck maker MAN SE, taking a major step toward deepening an alliance that also includes Scania AB of Sweden.

BERLIN (AP) -- Volkswagen AG has secured a majority stake in German truck maker MAN SE, taking a major step toward deepening an alliance that also includes Scania AB of Sweden, the automaker said Monday.

Volkswagen said it has secured 53.7 percent of MAN's share capital, which will give it 55.9 percent of the voting rights.

The announcement came nearly two months after Volkswagen said it had increased its voting stake in MAN to more than 30 percent. That triggered a mandatory takeover offer for the whole company under German law.

Volkswagen is "more than pleased" with the outcome, CEO Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.

"Our objective of realizing substantial synergies between MAN, Scania and Volkswagen ... is moving closer," he added. "We will continue to work expeditiously in close coordination with the relevant authorities toward obtaining the required regulatory approvals globally."

Last month, Volkswagen said it was in "constructive discussions" with the European Commission on securing merger clearance, which it says is needed to be able to make savings.

However, it said the Commission had told it that top VW executives should not join the MAN supervisory board until merger clearance comes through. It also said Winterkorn and two others had withdrawn their candidacies for the board.

Volkswagen supervisory board chief Ferdinand Piech said more than a year ago that he wanted MAN and Scania, which both count VW as their biggest shareholder, to cooperate.

Last November, MAN said it was seeking closer cooperation with Scania, which spoke of a possible combination between the two companies but suggested their brands would remain separate.

Volkswagen holds more than 45 percent of Scania, and MAN more than 13 percent.

Volkswagen shares were up 0.5 percent in Frankfurt at euro143.45 ($208.30). MAN shares were down 2.3 percent at euro93.08.

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