Traton, Navistar reach definitive merger agreement

Traton SE and Navistar International Corporation announced Saturday they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Traton will become the owner of all of the outstanding common shares of Navistar not already owned by Traton at a price of $44.50 per share in cash.

Traton currently owns 16.7 percent of Navistar’s outstanding shares of common stock.

Beginning in March 2017, Traton and Navistar have benefitted from a strategic alliance that has delivered significant value to both companies through increased purchasing scale and the integration of new technologies.

This transaction builds on that success by combining Traton’s strong position in Europe and substantial presence in South America with Navistar’s complementary footprint in North America to create a global company well-positioned to benefit from enhanced brand performance, increased innovation and industry-leading capabilities, according to a news release.

“Today’s announcement accelerates our Global Champion Strategy by expanding our reach across key truck markets worldwide, including scale and capabilities to deliver cutting-edge products, technologies and services to our customers,” says Traton CEO Matthias Gründler.

“Together, we will have an enhanced ability to meet the demands of new regulations and rapidly developing technologies in connectivity, propulsion and autonomous driving for customers around the world. Navistar has been a valuable partner, and we are confident this combination will deliver compelling strategic and financial benefits, create enhanced opportunities for both Navistar and Traton, and best position us to drive sustained value in the evolving global commercial vehicle industry,” Gründler says.

“This transaction builds upon our highly collaborative and successful strategic alliance and further enhances the growth trajectory of the combined company, while delivering immediate and substantial value to our shareholders,” says Navistar President and CEO Persio Lisboa.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Traton team to create opportunities for our employees and provide an outstanding experience for our customers and dealers through best-in-class products, services and technologies,” Lisboa says.

Gunnar Kilian, member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and responsible for the Truck & Bus division, says, “Volkswagen is Traton’s biggest shareholder. The agreement is thus an important milestone for Volkswagen because it underpins our strong strategic commitment to continue driving growth also during the ongoing challenging economic climate. The acquisition of Navistar will significantly leverage Traton’s positioning in North America, one of the biggest and most profitable markets for heavy trucks. Together, the companies can enhance scale and reach in key markets as well as create further synergies.”

The sources of funding for the cash acquisition of the outstanding Navistar shares not already owned by Traton includes fully committed financing by Volkswagen Group for the equity purchase price of about $3.7 billion.

The transaction is targeted to close in mid 2021, and is subject to Navistar shareholder approval, customary closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals. Major shareholders Icahn Capital LP and MHR Fund Management LLC have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction.

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