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December 4, 2009

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Peugeot in talks over Mitsubishi partnership

FRENCH car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen is in talks with Mitsubishi Motors Corp that could lead to a "strategic partnership," it said yesterday.

France's biggest auto maker said it "confirms that it has started discussions with Mitsubishi Motors concerning the possibility of extending their relationship which could lead to a strategic partnership."

Its statement did not go as far as a report in Japan's Nikkei business daily which said Peugeot Citroen would buy a 30 to 50 percent stake in Japan's No. 4 auto maker for up to 300 billion yen (US$3.4 billion).

The report sent shares in Mitsubishi soaring. They closed up 13.4 percent at 135 yen in Tokyo after earlier soaring nearly 20 percent.

On Wednesday, Peugeot Citroen shares closed up 1.3 percent at 24.59 euros (US$37).

Mitsubishi declined to confirm the newspaper report but issued a statement saying: "There are no facts to be announced."

The paper said Peugeot Citroen - Europe's second-biggest car company - and Mitsubishi were in the final stages of capital tie-up talks.

The deal could effectively put Mitsubishi under Peugeot Citroen's control, creating the world's sixth-largest automobile alliance.


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