Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar has revealed that while GM and VW are still in the picture, Peugeot is out, and management would like to reach a resolution before year’s end.
The investment group currently owns 43% of Proton, and is desperate to solve the problems of the ailing Malaysian carmaker.
Original: The Malaysian government has decided that Volkswagen’s proposal for Proton was not generous enough and stopped talks with the German carmaker. Proton was in talks with a number of parties, including GM and a handful of private equity firms, but VW was expected to be the winner in bidding.
Proton has been making losses because of the deregulation of the Malaysian car industry and increased competition from Japanese and Korean car companies in international markets. Their cars are known for being behind the times in important factors such as safety and handling, but it was hoped that a tie-up with a large car company could give cheap access to modern technology and better platforms.
Reuters quoted the Malaysian PM as saying "I have decided, since Volkswagen is not interested in the proposal that Proton wants in terms of equity, Proton needs to talk to other people," which is as blunt a statement as you’re ever going to get.
It seems GM is still in the running to buy the beleaguered carmaker, but now it seems increasingly likely that a third party bank or finance company will end up being the successful bidder.