Volkswagen AG will buy a stake in Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) to gain a foothold in the U.S. heavy-truck market, taking a gamble on a struggling U.S. manufacturer as the German company still grapples with the fallout from the emissions-cheating scandal.

VW will pay $256 million for a 16.6 percent holding and assume two board seats as part of a deal that includes technology sharing and joint purchasing, the two companies said. The Wolfsburg-based automaker will pay $15.76 per share. The holding puts Volkswagen on par with the largest shareholders, activist investors Carl Icahn and Mark Rachesky.

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