Swedish pension fund AP4 and occupational pensions manager Alecta have finally accepted the bid by Germany’s Volkswagen for Swedish heavy vehicles company Scania, despite holding out against the takeover.
VW yesterday declared its offer for Scania unconditional, saying all conditions for its completion had been met.
In a statement, VW said: “The offer has been accepted to such extent that Volkswagen after completion of the offer will become the owner of 90.47% of all shares in Scania.”
Alecta said yesterday it had decided to accept Volkswagen’s bid for Scania.
“After renewed talks with Volkswagen, it is our conclusion that a higher bid price cannot be achieved,” the company said.
“Even though the bid still does not fully reflect Scania’s long-term value, we believe it is acceptable.”
The Swedish pensions manager said it saw VW as a strong long-term owner that should be able offer good conditions for Scania that would allow it to continue to develop positively as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Alecta currently holds 16.3m shares in Scania, which amounts to 2.04% of the auto firm’s capital.
Alecta and other shareholders in Scania had previously rejected the offer by VW, which was part of its plan to merge the Swedish business with rival German truck manufacturer MAN.
Scania’s independent committee had called for VW’s valuation to be rejected because it failed to take long-term prospects into account.
Following VW’s announcement that it was completing the offer, AP4 said it had decided to hand in its shareholding in Scania, which corresponds to about 0.6% of Scania’s capital.
It said the decision should be viewed in light of the fact Volkswagen had already passed the 90% limit, at which compulsory purchase could be requested.
Mats Andersson, AP4’s chief executive, said: “It is unfortunate that more owners were not able to back the independent committee in Scania’s board of directors that so unequivocally recommended the owners decline Volkswagen’s offer.”
But he said it was handing in its shares instead of facing an extended compulsory purchase process.
“We are still of the opinion the offer does not reflect Scania’s long-term value, and that Scania would have developed best as an independent and listed company,” Andersson said.
Martin Winterkorn, chairman of VW’s management board, said it would now take the next step in its strategy to “strengthen the operational integration between Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to create a leading commercial vehicles group”.
VW said it would now start the compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares in Scania and delist the company’s shares from NASDAQ OMX Stockholm.
Before the offer was announced, VW held 62.6% of the shares of Scania and 89.2% of the voting rights.
At the end of last month, however, Swedish buffer funds AP2 and AP3 accepted the controversial bid.
AP2 owned 0.2% of the stock, and AP3 held 0.3%.