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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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DaimlerChrysler eyeing VW?

2005-10-03 13:08

Financial markets had been shaken on Friday by reports that Volkswagen had repeatedly appealed to the German-US auto conglomerate to act as its "white knight", protecting it from hedge funds by becoming a significant shareholder.

At DaimlerChrysler's Stuttgart headquarters, the spokesperson rejected an unsourced report in Saturday's issue of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that talks were under way on a mutual exchange of shares.

He said DaimlerChrysler was not seeking a VW stake.

The FAZ had said the two were discussing a swap of 10% of Volkswagen equity for a 6.9% block of DaimlerChrysler stock currently held by Deutsche Bank.

The cross-shareholding would be aimed at securing both companies against hostile takeover.

The talks were continuing despite the disclosure a week ago that Porsche is currently buying Volkswagen stock and will become the company's biggest shareholder with a stake totalling 20% when it has finished, the FAZ said.

The newspaper said an alternative option under discussion was to share out the Volkswagen share package between Porsche and DaimlerChrysler without VW acquiring any DaimlerChrysler stake.

Volkswagen, which is Europe's biggest volume car producer, is struggling to reduce costs after being hit by slack sales in its German home market, a shrinkage in its Chinese market share and sales reverses in its important US market.

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