GM Sells Its Stock in Suzuki

Ailing General Motors Corp. today plans to sell 16,413,000 shares of Suzuki Motor Corp., which is equal to 3 percent of Suzuki's total issued common stock, on the open market. The purchase price is estimated to be $230 million. The funds required to purchase the stock will come out of Suzuki's own internal reserve.

"Suzuki and GM have been constantly exchanging frank opinions on various topics as business partners," says Osamu Suzuki, chairman and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corp. "As GM taking this particular step to sell the shares it owns as a step toward strengthening its balance sheet is very understandable, we wanted to support GM's decision. We confirmed each other in a conference call with Wagoner-san [Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of General Motors] and me that all individual initiatives will be pursued as they are today. There will be no impact on Suzuki's current business plan."

GM once owned more than 20 percent of Suzuki. In 2006, the U.S. auto giant sold a 17 percent holding to raise cash for restructuring, leaving it with just 3 percent.

The companies currently work together on developing hybrid and fuel-cell technologies and own a Canadian manufacturing company, and have agreed to continue promoting and implementing not only existing projects, including development collaboration on advanced automotive technologies, but also collaboration on entries in new emerging markets.