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September 30, 2009

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Conditions for GM-Delphi deal

CHINA has conditionally approved General Motors Corp's plan to acquire portions of bankrupt parts supplier Delphi Corp, with reservations about a possible negative impact on China's automotive industry.

The buyout includes portions of Delphi's business in China. No details have been made public.

After nearly a one-month anti-monopoly review, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that its approval was contingent on Delphi ensuring a timely and fair supply of parts to other auto makers in China.

The ministry also prohibited GM and Delphi from sharing the confidential information of other car makers and banned GM from procurement practices that would benefit Delphi and hurt domestic auto parts suppliers.

Considering the dominant position of Delphi and GM in China, the ministry is worried that such acquisition would restrict market competition as well as harm the nation's developing auto parts makers.

Delphi entered the Chinese market in 1995. It supplies major Chinese car makers, including Chery Automobile, Great Wall Motor Corp, and also GM, which began to form its auto ventures in China more than 15 years ago.

Delphi's total investment in China is about US$500 million, with 17 wholly owned and joint ventures.

The company was a subsidiary of GM until it was spun off about a decade ago. It filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States in 2005 and is now undergoing re-organization.

GM, facing its own financial problems, entered into bankruptcy earlier this year and is also in the throes of restructuring.

The Delphi China Technical Center in Shanghai develops technologies for engine management, fuel systems, electromagnetic testing and in-car entertainment, electronic and safety systems.

China requires anti-monopoly reviews on mergers and acquisitions if either party has annual sales revenue of more than 400 million yuan (US$59 million) in China and global revenue exceeding 10 billion yuan.

The approval from the Chinese government may speed up Delphi's emergence from four years of court receivership.

Delphi has already won approval for the buyout from regulatory authorities in the US and the European Union. A US court gave Delphi the green light last month to sell assets to GM and its lenders.


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