By on December 20, 2013
GM CEO Dan Akerson and PSA CEO Phillipe Varin when the tie-up between their two companies was announced in 2012. Now, Akerson and Varin are both on their way out and GM has sold its 7% stake in PSA, though the companies continue to jointly work on some projects.

GM CEO Dan Akerson and PSA CEO Phillipe Varin when the tie-up between their two companies was announced in 2012. Now, Akerson and Varin are both on their way out and GM has sold its 7% stake in PSA, though the companies continue to jointly work on some projects.

General Motors sort of has a reputation for bad investments in Europe. In 2000, GM made a deal with Fiat wherein Fiat sold 20% of Fiat Auto to GM for $2.4 billion and the Italian automaker took a 6% stake in GM. GM also received a put option which in certain circumstances would have obligated the largest American car company to exercise that option and buy the rest of Fiat. In 2005, to get out of that deal, GM paid Fiat another $2 billion.


With that kind of history, it’s not surprising that when GM invested $400 million in early 2012 for a 7% share of French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen many skeptics expected GM to lose money on that deal as well. PSA’s stock prices dropped after GM’s buy-in and in the fourth quarter of last year, GM took a $220 million charge on its books to bring the PSA investment down to market value. GM announced last Friday that it sold its ~24.8 million shares in PSA to institutional investors for $343 million. As a result of all that accounting the Detroit automaker will realize a net gain of $150 million, posted to the company’s fourth quarter earnings as a special item.

A day before GM announced their divestment of PSA shares, the two companies said they had reduced projected annual cost savings from their alliance to $1.2 billion by 2018, down from an earlier projection of $2 billion in savings by 2017. The companies will continue to work jointly on two vehicles based on PSA platforms, a joint purchasing and logistics venture, and also work together on a new small light commercial vehicle.

GM said that their sale of PSA shares was not related to the French concern’s announcement last week that it is exploring a possible capital increase and and considering commercial and industrial projects with partners. One of those partners is Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Group. Dongfeng and PSA recently said they would be exchanging 20% stakes after the Chinese company agreed to inject over $2 billion in PSA. Chinese media reports say that prior to its sale of PSA shares, GM gave it’s blessing to the alliance between the French and Chinese automakers.

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6 Comments on “GM Sells PSA Peugeot Citroen Stake For A $150 Million Gain, Blesses Dongfeng/PSA Tie-Up...”

  • avatar

    Institutional Investors? Jamie Dimon and Blythe Masters think people are stupid. They are proven correct everyday. Counterfeit fiat money…”That’s why I’m richer than you”

    The GM “investment” in PSA was just a political pay-off for ending PSA operations in Iran…The “institutional investor” was a political pay-back/bailout for GM. You don’t want to give the “little people” more to bitch about when it comes to GM.

  • avatar

    The American taxpayers who lost $10B bailing out GM will appreciate GM donating that gain to the U.S. Treasury.

    Mr. Akerson, please make the check out to “U.S. Treasury,” with the memo line “Repayment of Generous Motors Bailout.”

    Thank you, sir.

  • avatar

    They bought it for $400M and then sold it 2 years later for $343M, that is a loss of $57M before you even take into account any inflation or opportunity value. While they may have a “gain” over the written down amount, they have a loss on the investment.

  • avatar

    I guess the new and improved post-bankruptcy GM really is better – instead of taking years to lose billions in Europe, they now only lose 10’s of millions over a few months.

    But seriously, how can they continue to be so stupid when it comes to European “investments”, and how can they flip flop so quickly on their decisions?

    • 0 avatar

      Acquiring PSA was a reasonable idea when the agenda was to dump or bankrupt Opel, while building GM Korea.

      But now that the plan has shifted to rebuilding Opel and to reducing its reliance on GM Korea, there’s no longer a need to hold a stake in PSA.

  • avatar

    -$400 million + $343 million = +$150 million, because I already wrote off $200 million.

    That must be MBA math!

    When I sell my house at a loss I must tell the bank that I already wrote off the outstanding part of the mortgage, so I’m going to keep all the money. They’ll understand.

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