Volkswagen AG has cooled expectations that it is moving to take over Navistar International in an April 18 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, in the same statement, the Germany-based OEM left the door open for its Volkswagen Truck & Bus GMbH subsidiary to possibly acquire Navistar at some later date.
The SEC form, signed by VW Truck & Bus CEO Andreas Renschler, was filed two days after media reports suggested that Volkswagen Truck & Bus was open to taking over Navistar International Corp. VW currently holds a 16.9% share in the U.S. company via a “wide-ranging strategic alliance," announced back in 2016.
“On April 16, 2018,” stated VW’s SEC filing, “various news sources interpreted remarks, during a question and answer session, by representatives of VW T&B” to suggest that an acquisition of U.S.-based Navistar by the German firm was under consideration.
“VW T&B is not," the statement continued, "reporting any changes to its plans or proposals [for Navistar]… although as previously disclosed, VW T&B continuously reviews its investment… [in Navistar] and may in the future determine to undertake various actions in connection with its investment, including the possible acquisition” of Navistar.
On April 16, HDT contacted VW T&B for comment on whether or not the subsidiary was considering a full takeover of Navistar. In response, Julia Kroeber-Riel, head of Group Communications & Governmental Relations for Volkswagen Truck & Bus, told HDT that, “On our way to becoming ‘Global Champion,’ we keep all options open.”
The reporting of April 16 also had it that VW T&B CFO Matthias Gruendler had indicated that U.S. law would require VW to issue a formal takeover bid for Navistar if it increases its stake above 17%. VW also sought to clarify that representation with its SEC filing, stating: “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 [Navistar] 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. VW T&B hereby corrects such statement by noting that neither U.S. securities law nor Delaware law includes such a requirement.”