April 13, 2012 / 2:43 PM / 6 years ago

Volkswagen hikes majority stake in truckmaker MAN

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) further increased its holding in German truck maker MAN SE (MANG.DE) as Europe’s biggest car manufacturer is pressing ahead to forge closer ties between its two major commercial vehicle operations.

<p>New cars by German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG stand on wagons at a train station in Munich March 5, 2012. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle</p>

VW raised its holding of ordinary shares in Munich-based MAN to 73 percent, giving the German car maker control of 71.08 percent of total share capital, MAN said in a statement on Friday. VW previously held 55.9 percent of voting rights and 53.71 percent of share capital.

VW is seeking to integrate MAN more closely with Swedish rival Scania SCVb.ST, which the Wolfsburg-based company also controls, to save at least 200 million euros (165.85 million pounds) annually in procurement, production and research and development.

VW has been pushing for closer cooperation between the two truck makers and its own commercial-vehicles unit to create a three-way linkup that would leapfrog Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volvo (VOLVb.ST) as Europe’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks.

The German carmaker has said it holds 71.8 percent of Scania’s votes and 49.3 percent of the total capital in the Swedish truckmaker.

MAN declined to comment while a spokesman for VW couldn’t immediately be reached.

Reporting By Andreas Cremer in Berlin, additional reporting by Edward Taylor and Christiaan Hetzner in Frankfurt

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