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GM sells GMAC stake

The UK division of GMAC, General Motors’ finance operation, has welcomed the news that a controlling stake in the global business has been sold to a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management.

Theo Kortland, GMAC UK managing director, says the move will help the company to improve its support for the three UK brands: Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet.

“It’s a good thing for our business if it means our credit rating improves. GM will keep a major shareholding, but it should mean we can be more competitive in the marketplace because we are free of any constraints,” he says.

GM has been hit by falling sales in its home American market and escalating costs through the rising expense of healthcare. It also faces possible liabilities from bankrupt car parts firm Delphi, which was spun off in 1999. Delphi is due to attend a hearing on May 9-10 on its filing to restructure its labour contracts.

The definitive agreement will see Cerberus take a 51% stake in GMAC, paying $14bn (£8bn) over three years. However, some analysts question whether GMAC’s rating will improve.

Commerzbank suggests it might still end up in speculative grade territory, adding that an investment grade rating is “extremely unlikely” due to uncertainty about long-term ownership.

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