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Peugeot discussing sale of 7% stake to GM

PSA Peugeot Citroen is negotiating a development alliance with General Motors Co. in which GM would acquire a 7% stake in the French automaker, Bloomberg reported.

Under the terms of the deal, GM would not acquire a larger stake without permission, although Peugeot may offer additional shares through a rights issue, the article said.

The two companies may develop engines and build vehicles together, according to the report. "GM, the world's largest carmaker, is looking for ways to turn around its unprofitable Opel brand, while Peugeot is seeking to stem a growing debt load," the report noted.

Peugeot has cooperated with BMW on engines for BMW's Mini brand, the Bloomberg article said. German analyst Juergen Pieper told Bloomberg that Peugeot is now in talks with GM because "Peugeot's dream partner, BMW, clearly wasn't interested."

Peugeot is 30% owned by the Peugeot family. Thierry Peugeot, great-grandson of co-founder Eugene Peugeot, is chairman. His relatives Roland, Robert and Jean-Philippe Peugeot and Marie-Helene Roncoroni serve with him on the board. The second-largest investor, with 5%, is Blackrock Inc. (Source: Bloomberg, Feb. 28, 2012.)

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