• Germany's news in English

Brussels forces VW to delay MAN plans

The Local · 27 Jun 2011, 16:06

Published: 27 Jun 2011 16:06 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced at the annual meeting of MAN shareholders on Monday that the names of three top VW executives would be withdrawn as candidates for the MAN board.

The EU’s executive arm recently spoke out against the candidacy of the three men for the board. VW wanted to gain control of MAN so that it could partner the truck maker with its own subsidiary Scania. It's unclear how Monday's move will affect that goal.

VW had named its CEO Martin Winterkorn, chief financial officer Hans Dieter Pötsch and head of the commercial vehicles division Jochem Heizmann as candidates for the MAN board. But all three sit on the Scania board, giving rise to anti-competition concerns.

In a statement released Monday, VW said it was “currently engaged in constructive discussions with the EU Commission in order to receive merger control clearance for a closer cooperation between MAN, Scania and Volkswagen.”

“The existing antitrust hurdles currently limit the ability to realize substantial synergies among these companies significantly. Therefore Volkswagen aims to overcome these hurdles.”

VW, Europe’s largest carmaker, is trying to raise its stake in MAN ahead of marrying it to Scania. It launched a mandatory offer for MAN last month, triggered by its stake in the company creeping slightly above 30 percent. The share offer expires on Wednesday.

Small shareholders reacted angrily to the candidature of the three VW executives, saying the move breached German corporate governance rules.

Shareholders are being asked now to approve the re-election of board members Ulf Berkenhagen, procurement chief at VW’s Audi unit, and Thomas Kremer, legal counselor at ThyssenKrupp AG. A third new candidate has also been put up: Munich lawyer Matthias Bruse.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, MAN boss Georg Pachta-Reyhofen defended plans for closer co-operation with Scania, saying that both partners as well as VW were convinced of the “industrial logic” of working together.

“Partnering with powerful players like Scania and VW opens up a whole world of new opportunities,” Pachta-Reyhofen told shareholders. “The next big change might be in store for us, and MAN may be becoming part of a bigger picture.”

The Local/DAPD/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:58 June 27, 2011 by yhsanjay
What next? VW takes over Volvo and GM truck division? VW is on a roll and we can wish it all the best. Let it grow and grow.
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd