The shares of Isuzu Motors Ltd. surged as much as 9.6 percent, the most on an intraday basis since March 16, after a Wednesday report of Germany’s Manager Magazin stated that Volkswagen AG is taking a share on Isuzu or buying the company outright. The report did not name the source.
The magazine mentioned that board member Jochem Heizmann held discussions with Isuzu and paid production sites a visit. A spokesperson for VW stated that the company will not decide soon regarding taking a stake in Isuzu, and refused to make further comments.
The magazine also reported that Volkswagen discussed the possibility of MAN SE acquiring a holding in Isuzu. According to Bloomberg data, VW owns 29.9 percent of the German truckmaker MAN.
Eiji Mitsuhashi, spokesperson for Isuzu, was not available for comment, while Stefan Straub, MAN’s spokesperson, declined to comment on the report. VW is targeting to finalize a merger with Porsche SE after it purchased 49.9 percent of the company's automaking unit.
In January 2010, the company also paid $2.5 billion for a 19.9 percent stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. Such endeavor aims to jointly develop vehicles for emerging markets, in line with its goal to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. as the market leader worldwide by 2018.
Toyota has shares in Isuzu of 5.9 percent. According to Bloomberg data, Isuzu’s share price increased more than twice in 2010, making it the best performer in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average. Mitsubishi Corp. has the largest share in Isuzu with a 9.2 percent stake.