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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第1章 经济类 Unit 11

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2019年01月05日

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Hakan Samuelsson had been an exemplary boss of MAN,Europe's third-biggest truckmaker.After taking charge in 2005,he transformed it from a clunky conglomerate with interests from printing presses to spaceflight into a business focused on building trucks,turbines and the house-sized diesel engines that power more than three-quarters of the world's big ships.He also put in place a vigorous international expansion plan that included the purchase last year of Volkswagen's Brazilian heavy-truck business and this year of a 25% stake in Sinotruk,China's biggest maker of heavy trucks.Within five years,analysts expected MAN to be earning almost half its revenues in emerging markets.So when Mr Samuelsson abruptly stepped down on November 23rd it came as a shock to nearly everyone.Even his spokesman was on holiday. 
The firm mumbled that his departure would allow it to focus on its main business.Some saw this as a reference to allegations that a few of MAN's employees had paid bribes to win contracts,and that by leaving Mr Samuelsson would allow a clean break with the past.But prosecutors,who did not consider him a suspect,were equally surprised by his exit.His response to the allegations had been admirable,appointing independent lawyers and auditors to conduct a thorough investigation,while offering an amnesty to employees who agreed to help them. 
A likelier explanation is that he clashed,not for the first time,with the chairman of the Volkswagen Group,the wily Ferdinand Pi"ech.In 2006 the two sparred when Mr Samuelsson launched a hostile bid for Scania,a Swedish truck firm.VW,which at the time controlled 34% of Scania's stock,did not support the takeover.Instead Mr Pi"ech turned the tables on Mr Samuelsson when VW bought 20% of MAN(a stake subsequently increased to almost 30%).Mr Pi"ech is now chairman of MAN's supervisory board too,and so in a position to realise a long-held ambition to forge a three-way merger that would include VW's truck business—a combination that would leapfrog Volvo and Daimler AG to become Europe's biggest truckmaker. Analysts at HSBC reckon that a merger of just Scania and MAN would lead to annual savings of about 600m($900m)a year.Mr Pi"ech has said in the past that a full-blown combination of all three could cut costs by as much as 1 billion a year. 
Mr Samuelsson's departure clears the way for his former adversary,Leif Ostling,the head of Scania,to run the new entity.It also hints at how a deal may be structured.The simplest way would have been for MAN to buy Scania,as MAN and VW between them already control 88% of Scania's voting stock.That would,however,have forced VW to book a loss on its Scania stake(acquired at a higher share price than today’s),putting strain on a balance-sheet already stretched by VW's takeover of Porsche.A better option for VW might be for Scania to buy MAN and sell its non-truck operations—a ploy Mr Samuelsson would have resisted. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 1。 
1.Why did the departure of Hakan Samuelsson shock everyone? 
A) Because even his spokesman was not aware of the abrupt decision. 
B) Because his over-expansion strategy for MAN was a complete failure. 
C) Because his management of MAN yielded outstanding performance. 
D) Because he succeeded in adding international components to the company. 
2.Which of the following can be the main reason why the departure of Mr.Samuelsson is irrelevant to the bribery allegation? 
A) He demonstrated complete support of an independent investigation of the case. 
B) He was widely speculated to be involved in abetting bribery. 
C) Even the prosecutors were unaware of his exit. 
D) He pardoned the employees who were willing to cooperate. 
3.What kind of action will Mr.Pi"ech possibly take for his ambition? 
A) He will launch a hostile bid for the Swedish truck firm Scania. 
B) He will build the largest truck maker in Europe. 
C) He will merge Scania and MAN so as to achieve huge annual savings. 
D) He will build a conglomerate by combing Volkswagen,Man and Scania. 
4.Why is the departure of Mr.Samuelson a good piece of news to Mr.Pi"ech? 
A) Because it clears the way for Leif Ostling to control the company that merges Volkswagen,Man and Scania. 
B) Because Mr.Pi"ech was aware that Mr.Samuelson would not allow the sales of MAN's non-truck operations. 
C) Because it makes it much more convenient for VW and MAN to purchase Scania jointly. 
D) Because the news will help reduce VW's pressure in terms of loss on the balance sheet. 
5.Which of the following is NOT true according to the last two paragraphs? 
A) Volvo and Daimler AG are so far the two largest European truck makers. 
B) Scania is largely involved in the dispute between Samuelson and Pi"ech. 
C) Leif Ostling was Samuelson's major adversary who forced the latter's exit. 
D) Porsche was recently merged into the Volkswagen Group. 

一直以来,霍坎·萨穆埃尔松都是欧洲第三大卡车制造商曼公司的模范老板。曼公司以前是一家笨重杂乱的企业集团,生产从印刷机到宇宙飞船的各类产品。但自2005年霍坎·萨穆埃尔松掌管曼公司以来,他将公司转型为一个专门生产卡车、涡轮机以及可给全世界四分之三以上的大型轮船提供动力的、体积堪比房屋的柴油机的公司。他还积极实施一项国际扩张计划,包括去年收购大众在巴西的重型卡车业务,以及今年收购中国最大的重型卡车制造商——中国重汽25%的股权。有分析家预测,五年之内曼集团将有近一半的收入来自发展中国家的新兴市场。因此当今年11月23日萨穆埃尔松先生突然提出辞职时,所有人都非常吃惊。甚至连他的发言人都还在休假。 
对此,公司向外界含糊解释道,萨穆埃尔松的离开可以使公司专注于其主要业务。有些人认为这是指之前的一些指控,即曼公司的一些雇员曾经通过行贿来获取订单合同,而萨穆埃尔松的离职可以使他与此事有个彻底的了结。但认为萨穆埃尔松没有贿赂嫌疑的检方也对其离职感到同样的吃惊。萨穆埃尔松对这些指控的反应令人钦佩,他一方面指派独立律师和审计师进行彻底的调查,另一方面则对那些配合调查的雇员给予宽大处理。 
另一种更为可信的解释是,萨穆埃尔松与大众汽车集团颇有心机的总裁费迪南德·皮希之间产生了矛盾,而这已经不是第一次了。早在2006年,两个人就在萨穆埃尔松对瑞典卡车公司斯堪尼亚发起恶意收购时有过争执,当时持有斯堪尼亚公司34%股票的大众公司不支持这项收购。而当大众公司购买了曼公司20%的股票时(随后这个比例增加到30%),皮希最终占据了上风。现在,皮希同时也是曼公司监事会的主席,这个位置能进一步帮助他实现一个长期的雄心计划,即发起包括大众卡车业务在内的三方并购业务,从而超越沃尔沃和戴姆勒AG成为欧洲最大的卡车制造商。汇丰银行的分析家认为,如果将斯堪尼亚公司和曼公司都并入大众,那么这个集团每年可以节省约6亿欧元(约合9亿美元)的成本。皮希过去也曾经提到过,三家公司的全面合并将为每年削减多达10亿欧元的成本。 
萨穆埃尔松的离开为他的老对手——斯堪尼亚公司的总裁莱夫·奥斯特林接管新公司扫清了障碍。他的离开也暗示了这桩交易的方式。最简单的方式就是曼公司直买下斯堪尼亚公司,因为曼公司和大众公司现在共持有斯堪尼亚公司88%有表决权的股票。但是,大众公司持有的斯堪尼亚公司股票会出现亏损(大众公司购买该公司股票时其股价比今天要高),这将给因收购保时捷已经压力重重的大众资产负债表又加上一个重担。因此,对于大众公司来说,更好的策略是让斯堪尼亚公司收购曼公司,并且出售曼公司的非卡车业务,而萨穆埃尔松先生肯定会坚决反对这一策略。 
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