AMF Pension condemns Scania deal
SWEDEN - Sweden's largest fund company AMF Pension has contacted fellow small shareholders to demand a review of Swedish takeover rules.
AMF, which holds just over 2% in Scania shares, thinks it is unfair it was excluded from Volkswagen AG's (VW) SEK200 per share takeover of the Swedish truck maker.
Peter Lindell, head of corporate governance at AMF: "The rules regarding takeovers are not working in Sweden."
He added: "The regulatory authority gave VW the permission to buy however much they wanted of the company, without having to trigger a bid for the entire company, meaning that all the small shareholders lose out."
VW announced it now controls 68.6% of Scania's voting rights after buying the stake previously held by Investor AB.
VW told German media at a press conference so-called grandfather rights exempted the company from being obliged to make a takover bid for Scania.
This would normally be triggered this when a shareholder reaches 30%, but VW has an exception from that rule so AMF has criticised the system for not working and for allowing a company to move from holding 30% of a firm's stock to up to 70% without triggering a bid.
"Takeover rules are there to set certain rules for the majority owner and to protect smaller stakeholders, and if the majority owner reaches a certain point, they should be forced to place a bid for the company," said Lindell in his criticism towards the regulator.
He said AMF has communicated its concerns to other institutional owners, to evaluate what action to take in any future events: "We are evaluating the situation, mainly to see if we can prevent this in the future."
Lindell was adamant, however, the current situation alone is not is not a reason to sell its stake in Scania.
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