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Navistar Tells Traton $44.50-Share Cash Is Basis for a Deal

Navistar tells Traton, Volkswagen's heavy-truck division, that $44.50 a share for Navistar is a basis for a deal.

Navistar  (NAV) - Get Navistar International Corporation Report said $44.50 a share cash would be an offer it could accept from Traton, Volkswagen's heavy-truck division.

After the two sides spoke, Navistar said in a statement, the board of the Lisle, Ill., heavy-equipment producer "would be prepared to move forward with a transaction in which Traton would acquire Navistar for $44.50 per share in cash." 

In an Oct. 14 letter to Matthias Grundler, Traton's chief executive, Navistar requested confirmation that the deal price was a basis to finalize definitive agreements. 

The deal at that price is supported by two key Navistar holders: the New York investor Carl Icahn and the New York private-equity firm MHR Fund Management, controlled by Mark Rachesky, Navistar CEO Troy Clarke said in the letter. 

At last check Navistar shares were trading 21% higher at $42.98.

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Traton has said its offer of $43 a share, which it increased in September from an initial $35 a share in January, "reflects an extremely attractive premium to Navistar shareholders." 

Traton had called $43 its "best and final" offer and put a Friday deadline on that bid.

The offer was a 46% premium over the Navistar's 90-day volume-weighted average share price of $29.37. 

Traton is looking to expand its business and challenge Daimler AG and Volvo AB for dominance in the diesel and heavy truck sector, according to reports.

"We continue to believe in the compelling strategic benefits that a complete merger of Traton and Navistar would produce,” Grundler had said in a statement in September when the company boosted its offer. “This is why we are re-emphasizing our interest in the transaction in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Navistar reported that revenue for the fiscal 2020 third quarter ended July 31 totaled $1.7 billion, down 45% from the year-ago quarter.