Russian 'Undesirable' Makes an Offer for HUMMER That GM Can Refuse. Or Can It?
The Daily Vedomosti (a combination of The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Russia's Independent Media) says Russian "oligarch" Oleg Deripaska is making a play to purchase GM's HUMMER brand. ABC News repeats the report without providing any further details– save a few salacious facts about the Russian 28-billionaire's unsavory past. In context, of course. "The U.S. State Department revoked his visa in 2005 because they were reportedly concerned he had not been honest about his business dealings. U.S. law enforcement officials reportedly believe he is tied to organized crime. The allegations add a layer of irony to the possible purchase, as the Hummer has been popular with the would-be outlaw set in the United States. Gangsta rappers like now-deceased Tupac Shakur and 'Gangster's Paradise' artist Coolio owned Hummers, as did Christopher Moltosanti, the young ill-fated capo in HBO's The Sopranos." Less culturally aware commentators may remember Deripaska as Magna strongman Frank Stronach's partner in his ill-fated attempt to "liberate" Chrysler from Daimler. Anyway, GM will neither confirm or deny the report. "We haven't announced any of the discussions that have taken place with any outside parties that are interested in the brand," Hummer spokesman Nick Richards announced.