Volkswagen pumps the brakes on Navistar takeover bid talk

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Updated Apr 19, 2018
The International WorkStar

Two days after Volkswagen Truck and Bus (VW T&B) executive Matthias Gruendler sent Wall Street ablaze saying a takeover of Lisle, Ill.-based truck maker Navistar “would make sense at some point,” the German parent company filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make more clear the company’s intentions.

According to a filing sent to the SEC Wednesday, and signed by VW T&B boss Andreas Renschler, Volkswagen “is not reporting any changes to its plans or proposals” for its partnership with Navistar. However, the filing doesn’t slam the door on the possibility – one day.

“Although as previously disclosed, VW T&B continuously reviews its investment in the Issuer (Navistar) and may in the future determine to undertake various actions in connection with its investment, including the possible acquisition of the Issuer.”

Gruendler also said Monday that should Volkswagen acquire at least 17 percent of Navistar – it currently owns a 16.9 percent stake – VW T&B would be legally required to make a bid for the remainder of the company. Wednesday’s filing, however, indicates that is not the case, and that VW could up its stake without formally buying out Navistar whole.

“In addition, it was reported that a representative of VW T&B had stated that increases by VW T&B in its level of ownership of the Issuer above current levels would not be possible without VW T&B being required by Delaware law to make an offer to acquire all of the remaining outstanding shares of Common Stock not owned by it,” the filing reads. “VW T&B hereby corrects such statement by noting that neither U.S. securities law nor Delaware law includes such a requirement.”

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected]