New snaps up stake in Enasa
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• Iveco has swooped to take a 60% stake in Enasa, in a surprise move which puts paid to Mercedes-Benz's hopes of acquiring the Spanish truck manufacturer. UK manufacturer Seddon Atkinson, which is owned by Enasa, says it was unaware of the takeover until after the deal was announced. Seddon's managers were awaiting the outcome of a meeting in Madrid between the two companies as Commercial Motor went to press.
The deal puts Iveco into third place in the league of Western European truck manufacturers, with an annual output of around 94,000.
lveco intends that Seddon Atkinson, bought by Enasa in 1984, will "continue its mission as an independent producer", according to a statement.
"Seddon Atkinson will remain apart from the EnasaItalian operation," says Roger Dougherty, director of Enasa's international division. "It will continue as a British manufacturer, special to the British market and will be encouraged to develop its market presence and technology," Seddon will benefit from the ,£200m investment which lyeco, together with the state holding company [NI (Institut° Nacional de Industria) which retains the remaining 40% stake in Enasa, is planning to put into the company over the next five years or so.
Seddon Atkinson's sales promotion co-ordinator Robert Wine, speaking from the company's Motor Show stand, says the takeover had been received as "a positive move", with Seddon confident of retaining its independent identity. "And it's excellent for us to be able to tell people at the show, 'Yes, there's been a takeover, but we're still going to be here, as before'," Iveco plans to complete the Pegaso range with the launch of a new model, at a lower weight than the Ironer, in the early 1990s and the completion of "a number of other projects", according to Dougherty. "Pegaso will remain an independent marque and will sell alongside similar products from Iveco, so some competition will be preserved." The two ranges are likely to undergo some, adjustment: "There's a lot of detail yet to be worked out but the product ranges will be matched up to benefit the two companies as a whole".
Mercedes-Benz and MAN's joint bid for 80% control of Enasa collapsed in June when it was blocked by West German cartel authorities, and MAN pulled out in August. INI has been forced to accept a much lower price for Enasa from lyeco than was mooted for the West German deal, but has avoided the heavy rationalisation programme planned by the Germans to cut Enasa's losses.