PARIS/MUNICH (Reuters) - France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) said on Thursday it was examining the impact of its alliance with General Motors (GM.N) on PSA’s project with BMW (BMWG.DE) to make hybrid cars.
La Tribune reported on its website that BMW wanted to buy out some or all of PSA’s stake in the joint venture, dubbed BPC Electrification, because it did not like its recent GM alliance and was worried about the French carmaker’s financial stability.
A PSA spokesman told Reuters: “We are examining the impact of our alliance with GM on the joint venture...It’s clear the alliance changes the conditions of our partnership.”
BMW also said the conditions of the joint venture had changed since General Motors became PSA’s second-largest shareholder with a 7 percent stake, but said it was still sticking with the venture.
Both PSA and BMW said the situation would have no impact on their engine cooperation, however.
In February, BMW and PSA expanded their long-standing engine partnership beyond joint development of small four-cylinder petrol engines to include hybrid electric components.
The news comes after the same newspaper yesterday reported that the Peugeot family wanted to oust PSA Chief Executive Philippe Varin because of a fall in sales and dissatisfaction over the alliance with General Motors.
The article forced the supervisory board to issue a public statement of support for Varin after the report boosted PSA shares by 6.5 percent, making it the top gainer on the CAC-40 index of French blue chips .FCHI on Wednesday.
The Peugeot family holds 25.2 percent of the company’s capital and 37.9 percent of its voting rights through the Societe Fonciere Financiere et de Participation (FFP) holding.
Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW, had told shareholders at BMW’s annual general meeting in May that an alliance between PSA and General Motors would not affect an engine partnership with the French mass market carmaker.
Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Irene Preisinger; Writing by Nina Sovich; Editing by James Regan