Interesting twist in the Volkswagen-Suzuki sopu opera (see, Japanese is easy!): Suzuki could be doing Volkswagen a favor by filing for divorce. This way, Volkswagen can swallow Suzuki whole.
According to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel, there is a clause in the pre-nup between Volkswagen and Suzuki that precludes Volkswagen from getting more than the current 19.9 percent of Suzuki. However, if Suzuki cancels the agreement, then Volkswagen is no longer bound to that clause either and can start buying Suzuki shares in the open market, or from willing sellers. With its 19.9 percent, Volkswagen already is the largest single shareholder of Suzuki.
According to Der Spiegel (and TTAC), Volkswagen always had the majority of Suzuki in mind. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn had suggested to Osamu Suzuki that future car development could be done in four places: Wolfsburg develops the compact cars, Ingolstadt develops the upper class, Porsche in Weissach develops sports cars, Suzuki in Hamamatsu develops small cars. If Volkswagen gets the Suzuki majority, that is.
Osamu Suzuki’s answer: Iie kekkou des! (No thanks.) Let’s see whether this offer is still on the table after a less than amicable takeover.
The market is betting on a take-over by someone. After deterioration to 1,480 yet a few days ago, the Suzuki share traded for 1,610 on Friday and will most likely climb more on the back of these news.