SsangYong Motors has signed a preliminary deal with China’s state-run National Blue Star Group to sell a controlling 49 per cent stake.

SsangYong Motors has signed a preliminary deal with China’s state-run National Blue Star Group to sell a controlling 49 per cent stake.

Before making its final offer in late January, Blue Star will undertake a three-week inspection of the SsangYong accounts and a final formal contract is expected to be signed by the end of March 2004.

Liu Xianqiu, Blue Star’s vice president, confirmed its plan to invest at least R6,5 billion to buy the controlling interest in SsangYong. This includes R4,5 billion to expand the manufacturing capacity of the Korean company, which produces SUVs, MPVs and large saloons.

SsangYong was put up for sale following the collapse of its parent company, the Daewoo Group, in 1999 with debts of R520 billion. General Motors bought some of Daewoo’s operations in 2002 but not SsangYong.

SsangYong built 161 000 vehicles in 2002, with only 12 277 sold outside its domestic market.

Original article from Car