Automaker General Motors (GM) said its financial unit is among the bidders for the international operations that auto lender Ally Financial is selling.
GM Financial, along with other parties, submitted bids in July, but there was no assurance it would be successful in buying any of the operations, according to a filing by GM with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. If it is, GM Financial could expand its operations materially in international markets and more than double its overall assets.
Analysts said the Ally assets could attract bids in the range of $2 billion to $4 billion. An Ally spokeswoman reiterated the company has received interest from about 30 different parties for the assets and said officials were “encouraged by the initial progress.”
“It’s a good thing to have control of financial services companies,” said Guggenheim Securities analyst Matthew Stover, who has a “neutral” rating on GM shares. “They tend to be very profitable. From an investment standpoint, they tend to be pretty good businesses and from a competitive standpoint they help you be more flexible in the (sales) market.”
Ally, 74 per cent owned by the US Treasury after a series of bailouts, said in May it was selling operations in Europe, Canada and Mexico in a bid to speed up repayment to US taxpayers. The US Treasury also owns about 26 per cent of GM. In an earnings conference call this month, Ally Chief Executive Michael Carpenter said the lender had received offers from nearly 30 bidders and expected to complete the sales by year-end.
Ally was once the in-house lender for GM known as GMAC Financial Services but later became a separate company and was renamed. It struggled during the financial crisis when losses ballooned at its Residential Capital mortgage lending unit, which filed for bankruptcy in May.
GM established the core of its current lending subsidiary when it bought AmeriCredit Corp in 2010.
In May, GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said the Detroit-based automaker was interested in buying Ally’s international operations. He added that GM was probably not interested in buying Ally’s US operations.