Volkswagen makes Navistar $2.9 billion acquisition offer

The global truck unit of Volkswagen has made an unsolicited cash offer to buy Navistar International Corporation for $2.9 billion.

Navistar confirmed Thursday in a statement that the offer has been made, but the company said it has yet to decide whether to accept it. The company says its Board of Directors “will carefully review and evaluate the proposal in the context of Navistar’s strategic plan for the company in order to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and its stakeholders.”

Shares of Navistar on the New York Stock Exchange closed at $24 Thursday, but jumped to $37 a share in after-hours trading when the news broke. Volkswagen’s offer would pay $35 a share.

Navistar traded near $35 per share for much of 2019 but has slid steadily since Christmas. Its current $2.39 billion market cap is on par with the close of 2018, when truck orders reached record heights industry-wide.

Details are still scant on the offer and what it would mean for International’s truck lineup and for Navistar’s heavy-duty engines.

Volkswagen’s global trucks business, Traton, already owns 17% of Navistar International, a deal closed in 2017 when Volkswagen paid $256 million for that ownership stake.

Navistar just this month received court approval to settle for $135 million a lingering class-action  lawsuit over its now-defunct line of MaxxForce engines. Likewise, a Canadian judge just approved a nearly $150 million fine against Volkswagen AG after the company pleaded guilty to charges in its emissions cheating scandal uncovered in 2015.

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