MAN withdraws hostile takeover bid for Scania

German truck giant MAN has ended a lengthy takeover battle with Swedish truck manufacturer Scania by withdrawing its €10.2bn (£6.7bn) takeover bid.

MAN says that talks will be ongoing with Scania and its shareholders to try to exploit possible synergies between the companies. Scania has welcomed MAN’s move and states that it is open for discussion as long as it is built on industrial and commercial logic.

The hostile bid, set to run out on 31 January, was rejected by Scania and its two main shareholders Investor and Volkswagen. Volkswagen, also a major shareholder in MAN, is looking to combine with the truck manufacturers in a three-way merger to strengthen its Brazil-based South American truck business.

MAN is currently seeking approval of the Swedish Securities Council to withdraw the offer as it is clear the conditions set out in the offer will not be met by 31 January. 


Distribution looks healthy

The FTA says there has been a recovery in demand for distribution services in the UK.

More operators are looking to expand their fleets as a result of increasing market optimism, the association's latest quarterly transport activity survey concludes.

It reveals that the second half of 2006 saw an increase in demand for domestic, third-party and international road freight services following sustained market weakness in 2005 and early 2006.

But operators continue to report deteriorating journey times - 58% of the survey's respondents say road network reliability is worse than it was a year ago.

Only 4% of respondents intend to actively recruit from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU on 1 January.