Volvo May Buy Navistar
LONDON (AP) _ Swedish vehicle maker Volvo AB says it is talking to U.S. truck manufacturer Navistar International Corp. about a possible takeover, the Financial Times reported in Monday’s editions.
Senior executives from Volvo, which agreed last month to sell its automobile division to Ford Motor Co., have met with officials from Chicago-based Navistar to discuss a buyout offer, the newspaper said, quoting an unnamed source close to the talks.
The report speculated that the deal could be worth at least $3 billion, but added that the price could be substantially lower if Volvo acquired only Navistar’s heavy truck operations. The discussions may also only lead to some kind of alliance.
A takeover would more than double Volvo’s share of the North American truck market, the report said.
Navistar International, the United States’ third-largest heavy truck manufacturer, also makes medium-sized trucks and school buses, and builds diesel engines. It exports trucks and parts to more than 80 dealers in 75 countries and sells its merchandise through about 1,000 dealers in North America.
Navistar’s market value is about $2.3 billion, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $35.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Roy Wiley, a spokesman at Navistar’s Chicago headquarters, declined to comment on the report. ``It’s our policy not to comment on speculation or rumor,″ he said.
Besides its well-known car division, Volvo also makes trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and aviation engines. The proposed sale of Volvo’s car division to Ford for $6.45 billion is aimed at giving Volvo the resources to concentrate on developing its other divisions.
Volvo last month surprised markets by acquiring 13 percent of the stock in rival Swedish truck-maker Scania and is making an effort to buy the company. If successful, Volvo would be Europe’s largest truck manufacturer.