MAN-Scania. No More. Official.

MAN is to ask Swedish regulators for permission to withdraw its takeover offer for Scania.The German OEM is quoted as saying that it is clear that the conditions of the offer will not be met by Jan 31st when the offer is due to close.It said that discussions between VW, Investor AB and MAN have shown that there is 'an industrial logic' behind a combination of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Heavy Trucks. This could not be achieved by way of the current offer given that both VW and Investor have rejected it.This is rather a good example of how not to do things. Minutes before the official press release was made public, Forbes reported that Munich appeared to be in a state of abject denial.Scania is obviously not displeased by this. Not only has it seen off an unwelcome bid, but it has also made one of its key competitors look rather foolish. Its response has an air of smugness to it, but it will be interesting to see quite what happens to its stock price when the markets absorb the news. None of this comes as any real surprise. Granted, there is still talk of a 'friendly' deal, but, to our way of thinking, there is enough bad blood between the protagonists to preclude this. So how long before MAN turns its attentions to Navistar? And now might also be a good moment to ponder just how unwavering Fiat’s support is for Iveco, especially in the light of this report detailing the Italian carmaker's changes to its corporate structure.

EWS predicts boom in UK rail freight

Rail freight specialist EWS Network is predicting a sharp rise in the number of intermodal containers transported by rail.

The creation of Yorkshire-based EWS Network, part of EWS Group, enables the logistics market to include rail as a significant part of its supply chain for the first time. EWS Network is intended to be at the heart of the "biggest drive ever seen" on UK railways.

The use of rail freight services in domestic intermodal, maritime containers and through the Channel Tunnel will rise by up to 400% by 2015, according to Network Rail's Freight Route Utilisation Strategy.

Stuart Boner, managing director of EWS Network, says: "The intermodal and logistics sectors have been waiting for the rail industry to develop the products that allow rail to be integrated into their supply chain. We've listened to their demands, developed the products, and are now targeting the sector to use rail."

EWS Group, established in February 1996, claims to have boosted the amount of freight moved on the rail network by 60%.