Deripaska unit denies interest in GM's Hummer

MOSCOW Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:13am EDT

MOSCOW Aug 14 (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska's car unit, Russian Machines, denied on Thursday it was seeking to buy the Hummer brand from General Motors Corp (GM.N).

"Russian Machines neither received any proposals to consider acquisition of the Hummer assets, nor is strategically interested in such a deal," said Russian Machines.

Sources told Reuters overnight General Motors had had preliminary contact with Deripaska on a possible sale of Hummer, but the talks were only exploratory as Hummer is not officially on auction yet.

One of the sources said Deripaska would like to get Canadian auto parts giant Magna International MGa.TO involved in Hummer production if he ended up buying the brand.

GM, which has lost more than $51 billion over three years and is aiming to raise up to $4 billion through asset sales, has hired Citibank to consider options for the gas-guzzling Hummer.

GM also held exploratory talks on Hummer with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (MAHM.BO), but the Indian automaker plans to launch a truck and an SUV of its own in the U.S. market, sources told Reuters in July. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov, editing by Will Waterman)

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