China's SAIC close to GM IPO stake buy-sources

DETROIT/NEW YORK Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:04pm EST

DETROIT/NEW YORK Nov 10 (Reuters) - General Motors Co [GM.UL] is in the final stage of talks to sell equity to long-time Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS) in conjunction with its landmark initial public offering, two people familiar with the matter said.

The two government-funded automakers are currently finalizing how much of a stake SAIC would buy in the top U.S. automaker after discussions involving technology sharing and SAIC's ambitions to move beyond the China market, the sources said.

Any agreement between GM and SAIC would need Chinese government approval and could still fall apart, the sources cautioned.

One person familiar with the matter said previously that SAIC had initially reached out to GM to explore the prospect of taking a "single-digit" stake in GM. The size of SAIC's prospective investment was not known.

The final round of talks have been led by SAIC Vice Chairman Chen Hong and could conclude as soon as the weekend, that source said.

The sources were not authorized to speak with the media and declined to be named because the talks are private. Representatives for GM and SAIC declined to comment.

(Reporting by Kevin Krolicki in Detroit, Soyoung Kim and Clare Baldwin in New York, Philipp Halstrick in Frankfurt, Fang Yan in Beijing; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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