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Volkswagen Offer for MAN Challenged by 162 Shareholders

Volkswagen AG faces 162 lawsuits in a German court by MAN SE minority shareholders who want Europe’s largest carmaker to pay more than what they’re offering for the truckmaker.

The court won’t identify any of the plaintiffs at this stage, Stefanie Ruhwinkel, a spokeswoman for the Munich Regional Court, said in an interview today. The first two cases over the price VW offered under the agreement for the deal were filed in August.

“The court will allow the defendant to comment now on the suits,” Ruhwinkel said. “This will take some time so we expect that hearings will only take place next year.”

After VW won approval for the plan at a shareholder meeting in June, Ferdinand Piech, chairman of both companies, said he expected a lengthy legal battle over the offer price. In a related lawsuit, MAN provided investors with data about the valuation of the company that might be used to force a price increase in the new cases.

Volkswagen generally doesn’t comment on pending proceedings, company spokesman Marco Dalan said in an interview. The offer price was determined by two auditors and backed by a court-appointed expert, he said.

VW, which is required under German law to offer to buy out minority owners, proposed purchasing the truckmaker’s remaining stock for 80.89 euros ($111.51) a share. Investors who don’t accept the cash deal will receive an annual dividend of 3.07 euros per share.

The cases are LG Muenchen, 5 HKO 16371/13.

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