Scania's comment in view of the decision by the EU Commission
Against the background of the decision by the EU Commission not to approve the proposed acquisition of Scania by Volvo, Scania's President and CEO Leif Östling makes the following comments:
"Regrettably, the handling of this issue has taken a long time. The uncertain situation during more than one year has naturally put strain on the company and its sales organisation. Despite this uncertainty, I conclude that in the short perspective Scania has not sustained serious damage.
"Scania's owner structure is obviously an issue for our shareholders. But at the same time I must declare that the present uncertainty is not good for Scania. Long-term ownership stability is a necessity for Scania's continued development as a publicly listed company.
"Demand for heavy commercial vehicles, particularly in western Europe, developed strongly, as evidenced by our very good financial performance in 1999. During the first months of this year, demand and capacity utilisation remain good.
"Extensive product renewal over the past few years in combination with strong market growth has made Scania a very healthy company. We now concentrate on producing good results this year.
"Industrially, Scania now continues to develop its business as an independent actor, irrespective of the current ownership structure. This means for example that the joint preparatory planning between Volvo and Scania, which was initiated by the integration committee in August 1999, is now discontinued. Long-term, this does not preclude future co-operation regarding some non-strategic areas.
"My role as President and CEO of the company during the period since the offer was launched has primarily been to prioritise operations and ensure that Scania during this period has acted appropriately towards all parties involved. The Board and Group Management of Scania now focus on the future, with special attention to what is best for the company and for our customers in the long run."
For the time being, Scania has no further comments to the current situation.