The Hummer attracts interest from both Middle East and Russia
Friday, 29 August 2008

First it was Russia. Now it is the Middle East.

The Hummer - one of America's most iconic automotive brands - looks less and less likely to be staying in the US after General Motors admitted it had received expressions of interest from investors in the Gulf states, reports The Telegraph.

The comments came hot on the heels of news earlier this month that Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has held early-stage talks with GM about buying the brand.

The interest already shown in the brand, which GM effectively put up for auction after sales fell by 40pc in the first-half of the year, suggests that the troubled car manufacturer may yet generate a healthy sale price which would boost its ailing finances.
 
While the likely sale price for Hummer - which is based on US military vehicle the Humvee - is not known, GM has said it intends to raise up to $4bn in asset sales by the end of next year.
News of the interest from the Middle East came from GM's managing director in the region, Terry Johnsson, who said there were two Gulf-based Arab investors who had raised their hand.
 
"For sure, there has been interest from various parties within the Gulf... there is a precedent in the cases of Aston Martin, Ferrari or Daimler, and those kinds of solutions could be very realistic solutions," he said.
 
Two Kuwaiti funds - Investment Dar and Adeem Investment - backed David Richard's £450m buyout of Aston Martin from Ford last year, while the Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi bought a 5pc stake in Ferrari for €114m (£91m) in July 2005.
 
Mr Johnsson, who is not involved in the sales process of the Hummer brand, did not name the interested investors, nor did he give any hint as to who they might be.
 
But a Gulf-based investor may be able to revive sales of the flagging brand, particularly in oil-rich states in the region, where luxury Western brands are much sought after.

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