MAN Roland Comments on Stock Block Sale

By: E&P Staff Three large shareholders' recent sale of MAN AG stock will not adversely impact continued growth at MAN Roland Inc. in North America, the company announced today.

Munich-based MAN AG is the holding company that owns the MAN Group, which includes truck and bus manufacturing, engine production, construction engineering, and printing presses. MAN Roland Inc., based in Westmont, Ill., is the North American arm of the press division.

One week ago, Munich-based Allianz and Munich Re and Frankfurt-based Commerzbank sold 35.6 million common shares to other institutional investors. The financial institutions were three of MAN AG's largest shareholders, accounting for a combined 24.2% stake. (See E&P Online News Link to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Ownership Change at German Press Maker MAN.")

MAN AG shares have been among the best performers in Germany's DAX index over the past 24 months, when the share price more than doubled following a reorganization of the company's main divisions.

The three big shareholders told analysts they were reducing their holdings in industrial companies to protect earnings from stock market swings. The three held their interests in MAN through Regina Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH. An Allianz spokesman indicated to reporters that his company would profit from the sale.

Germany amended its capital-gains law a few years ago. "They used to tax shareholders from taxes on book-value increases," said Yves Rogivue, MAN Roland Inc. CEO. "Recent discussions by the German government have brought up the possibility to switch the tax law back to the old system."

MAN AG stock remains stable. "Its share price dropped 41 cents the day Regina Verwaltungsgesellschaft sold its interests, and ... the following two days the price rose to more than offset the one-day loss," Rogivue said.

With a greater percentage of the stock now freely traded and the company's place on the DAX more secure, mutual funds indexed to the DAX will be obligated to buy MAN AG shares in the near future, according to MAN, which reported third-quarter 2004 net income more than doubled to 72 million euros.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here