Nov 27, 2008

Business - GM mulls shedding Pontiac to win aid: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The automaker General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is mulling whether to shed its Pontiac, Saab and Saturn brands, as well as its Hummer brand, as part of a plan to win $12 billion of U.S. government loans, Bloomberg News said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

GM was not immediately available for comment.

Federal lawmakers last week rejected pleas from GM, Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chrysler LLC for $25 billion of loans, and asked the automakers to submit detailed turnaround plans.

The lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene during week or December 8 to review any plans and consider aid. Some analysts have said GM's remaining equity value could be essentially wiped out by any government recapitalization.

GM has said it might run short of operating cash by early 2009 if it doesn't find help.

GM directors are scheduled to review a proposal November 30 and December 1, the Bloomberg article said, citing people familiar with the plans.

Shares of GM closed Wednesday up $1.25 at $4.81 after Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache said the chances of a bailout have improved because of growing concern that doing nothing would further damage the U.S. economy.

GM's other U.S. brands are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. The automaker dropped its Oldsmobile brand earlier this decade. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP CBS.UL controls Chrysler.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Christian Wiessner)