China's biggest car maker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) and Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corp. are hammering out a detailed merger agreement, which is expected be completed by October 1, state press said Aug. 27. "The two parties have decided to work out a detailed merger plan by October 1," 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Under the plan, SAIC will have 100% of Nanjing Auto and in exchange Yuejin Auto Group, the current parent of Nanjing Auto will hold some stakes in SAIC and its listed unit Shanghai Automotive Co. Ltd., the report said.
Beijing has been encouraging restructuring and consolidation in the auto industry to create a few giants strong enough to compete with global players. Chinese media said authorities were also concerned about competition between the two groups, which share the same technology, derived from the former British carmaker MG Rover.
Nanjing Auto launched production of two MG sports car models earlier this year, after beating SAIC and buying the rights to the historic cars from British bankrupt car maker MG Rover Group in July 2005. SAIC bought the rights to two Rover models but not the brand name, instead founding its Roewe marque last October.
State media has reported that SAIC sold about 840,000 vehicles in the first half, up 23% from a year earlier.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007