Suzuki to buy back shares as Volk­swa­gen dis­pute set­tled

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

Ja­pan’s Suzuki Mo­tor said on Sun­day it plans to buy back its shares sold to Volk­swa­gen af­ter an in­ter­na­tional ar­bi­tra­tion court set­tled a dis­pute be­tween the two au­tomak­ers.

The rul­ing came four years af­ter the Ja­panese small car maker at­tempted to end an al­liance with the Ger­man auto gi­ant, which has re­fused Suzuki’s re­peated de­mands to sell back the 112.21 mil­lion shares, or 19.9 per­cent of Suzuki.

Ar­bi­tra­tors at the In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce (ICC) ruled the al­liance has been ter­mi­nated and or­dered Volk­swa­gen to dis­pose of Suzuki shares, the Ja­panese com­pany said.

Chair­man Osamu Suzuki said at a press con­fer­ence held in Tokyo on Sun­day he “feels re­ally good” and is “sat­is­fied” with the de­ci­sion from ar­bi­tra­tors.

The chair­man did not elab­o­rate on why the two au­tomak­ers had to split af­ter a 1.7-mil­lion-euro (US$2.3 bil­lion) tie-up in 2009.

“It was a pre­cious ex­pe­ri­ence. I learned there are dif­fer­ent types of com­pa­nies,” he said.

Asked about fu­ture part­ner­ships with Volk­swa­gen, he said “you will not re­marry some­one you have di­vorced with,” adding the com­pany will fo­cus on “sur­viv­ing in­de­pen­dently.”

Suzuki planned to seek sup­port from Volk­swa­gen in hy­brid tech­nolo­gies and other eco-friendly ar­eas, while the Ger­man firm hoped to jointly de­velop small cars for emerg­ing mar­kets by tak­ing ad­van­tage of Suzuki’s know-how.

But they made lit­tle progress and halted their joint projects.

The Ja­panese au­tomaker in 2011 said it wanted to end the al­liance, cit­ing a deep dis­agree­ment over col­lab­o­ra­tion and com­plained that its part­ner failed to pro­vide promised ac­cess to tech­nolo­gies.

Suzuki de­manded Volk­swa­gen sell back its stake in the Ja­panese car­maker by Novem­ber 2012.

Ahead of Suzuki’s move to­wards end­ing the tie-up, re­la­tions had be­come frayed as Volk­swa­gen served no­tice of an al­leged in­fringe­ment re­lat­ing to the sup­ply of diesel en­gines to Suzuki from Ital­ian car­maker Fiat.

AFP

Ja­pan’s au­tomaker Suzuki Mo­tor Chair­man Osamu Suzuki an­nounces the com­pany will buy back Suzuki’s shares from Ger­man auto gi­ant Volk­swa­gen at a press con­fer­ence in Tokyo on Sun­day, Aug 30.

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