BERLIN — Porsche said Monday that it had increased its stake in Volkswagen AG to more than 50 percent, a move that gave it indirect control of truck maker Scania AB and requires it to make a mandatory takeover offer for the Swedish company.
Stuttgart-based Porsche Automobil Holding SE said in a brief statement that it had lifted its voting stake in Volkswagen _ the maker of the Beetle, Golf and Touran among other models _ from about 43 percent to 50.76 percent.
Porsche already had effective control of Volkswagen, which is Scania's biggest shareholder, and has said it would keep building up its stake.
"As a result of passing the threshold of 50 percent, Porsche will acquire indirect control over Scania AB," the company said. It "is required by Swedish law to launch a mandatory offer for the truck manufacturer."
However, Porsche made clear that it would only go through the motions in making that offer for Sodertalje-based Scania.
Porsche said it was "only obliged to offer the minimum price prescribed by law." It said it "has no strategic interest in Scania and is not interested in acquiring Scania shares."
Volkswagen controls about 68.6 percent of the votes and around 37.7 percent of the capital in Scania. VW, which is also the biggest single shareholder in Scania's German rival MAN AG, is pushing for closer cooperation between the two companies under its own guidance.
Separately, Porsche has been steadily increasing its stake in Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, Europe's biggest auto maker by sales. It has said it hopes to acquire more shares during 2009, though that depends on the economic conditions and share prices.
Scania shares closed down 2.7 percent at 80.25 kronor ($10.42) in Stockholm.
Porsche said the minimum price for the takeover offer would be calculated on the basis of the volume-weighted average stock exchange price of the Scania shares during the 20 trading days prior to publication of the acquisition of the majority in Volkswagen.
Scania did not immediately comment.
Shares of Porsche closed down 6.5 percent to close at euro53.88 in Frankfurt trading while Volkswagen shares were down nearly 1.7 percent to euro254.74 ($345.99).
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