China Gives GM Go-ahead on Delphi Buyback

China said the two companies cannot exchange trade secrets Delphi might have about its Chinese customers.

China has approved a plan by General Motors to buy back part of former parts arm Delphi following an anti-monopoly probe, state media said on Sept. 29. The green light from the commerce ministry came with conditions set to address concerns raised by domestic carmakers, the Xinhua news agency reported.

US and EU authorities had already given their approval to the deal.

Delphi entered the China market in 1995 and now supplies almost all Chinese auto makers including Chery, Geely and BAIC, previous media reports said. It operates 17 wholly-owned entities and joint ventures in China and 21 manufacturing sites.

The commerce ministry said the two companies cannot exchange trade secrets Delphi might have about its Chinese customers, so that GM cannot acquire confidential information that would boost its competitive edge, it said.

Delphi was also asked to ensure that domestic auto makers have proper access to supplies at market prices, the report added.

The global auto parts supplier spun off from GM in 1999 and has been in bankruptcy protection since October 2005. General Motors has agreed to buy Delphi Steering Business and four U.S. sites of Delphi Corp.as part of a restructuring plan that allows creditors to get a controlling Delphi stake in exchange for $3.4 billion in debts.

China is GM's second largest market after the United States. The company has predicted sales in the fast-growing country this year to increase by more than 40%, after a series of single-month sales records stretching back to January. China sales for the first eight months of 2009 hit 1,111,401 units, a 49.6% increase over the same period last year, GM said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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