Peugeot to bid for ailing Proton: Report
Web posted at: 11/19/2006 8:41:33
Source ::: AFP
kuala lumpur • Top officials from France’s PSA Peugeot-Citroen will meet with Malaysian finance ministry officials to place a bid for troubled Malaysian auto maker Proton, a report said yesterday.
The two auto manufacturers recently signed a letter of intent to evaluate and study possible cooperation. The first round of talks began in September.
PSA Peugeot is the second-largest European car manufacturer, posting a market share of 14.5 per cent in 2005.
The Business Times newspaper said top PSA Peugeot officials would next week brief senior staff from the finance ministry, Proton and the government’s investment arm, Khazanah Nasional, which has a 43 percent stake in the local car maker, on its plan.
Talks would centre on the possible entry of PSA as a stakeholder in Proton’s manufacturing unit and on technical cooperation, it said.
Proton officials could not be reached for comment.
PSA’s move comes after Malaysia said it would make a firm decision on a potential strategic tie-up between Proton and foreign car makers within three months.
Second Minister of Finance Nor Mohamed Yakcop last week said Malaysia was also talking to Volkswagen of Germany, Europe’s biggest car maker, to ensure the survival of Proton.
Nor Mohamed said Malaysia “will do whatever it takes to make Proton viable”. “If, in the nature of things and the context of circumstances, it is necessary to bring in a foreign partner, we will bring in a foreign partner,” the minister said.
“Our mind is open,” he said, adding that the decision would be based on which party could best serve Proton and the nation’s interests.
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