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FRANKFURT, Nov 23 (Reuters) - German truckmaker MAN said on Thursday it would not reduce production staff should it successfully acquire Swedish rival Scania in its 10.3 billion euro ($13.4 billion) hostile bid.
"Under my leadership no business unit will subsidise another. That means that there will be no discrimination of Swedish employees in favour of Germans or vice versa," MAN Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson added in a statement.
The comments come as MAN tries to defuse objections from Scania workers who have said synergies would be exploited at their expense because MAN's German workforce enjoys job guarantees through 2011.
A combined MAN-Scania entity would become the European truck market leader, and would be better able to compete with global giants like DaimlerChrysler and Volvo due to greater scale advantages in purchasing, spare parts distribution, customer finance and service networks.
MAN believes the combined businesses could grow faster and better target growth markets than either could achieve alone.
"Accordingly, it is the intention to have more people working in Sweden and in Germany in five years' time," MAN said.
The German truckmaker needs all the support it can get, since Scania's management under CEO Leif Ostling has fiercely rebuffed MAN's approaches.
Ultimately, the deal will come down to the support, or lack thereof, from Scania's two largest shareholders,and the Wallenberg family, together with its Investor AB vehicle.
VW supports the tie-up in principle, but has left all options open in case MAN and Scania cannot agree on terms.