China Watch : SAIC Motor “closely watching” General Motors’ IPO

Automotive News Europe, 20th September, 2010

SEOUL (Bloomberg) – SAIC Motor Corp. said it’s ‘closely watching” the initial public offering of General Motors Co. after Reuters reported the Chinese company is in talks to buy a stake in the largest U.S. automaker.

‘SAIC is closely watching the progress of a GM IPO,” Judy Zhu, a spokeswoman for the automaker, said in a mobile phone text message today. ‘As a strategic partner of GM, SAIC wishes the success of the GM IPO.”

SAIC, GM’s partner in China, is in talks to buy a stake in the carmaker, Reuters reported on Sept. 18, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation. GM’s initial public offering will probably be open to overseas investors as the U.S. Treasury seeks to pare its stake in the company.

‘We expect that potential investors will be sought across multiple geographies with a focus on North American investors,” according to a statement posted on a Government web site. Retail and institutional investors will be offered shares, it said.

The U.S. Treasury holds a 61 percent stake in GM following a $50 billion taxpayer bailout for the Detroit-based carmaker, which filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2009.

GM ‘cannot comment on speculation surrounding a public offering,” Shanghai-based spokesman Mike Albano said in an e-mailed statement on Sept. 18. GM filed for the IPO in August.

[Source: Automotive News Europe/Bloomberg]

Clive Goldthorp

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