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GM eyes $257 million European asset sale

  General Motors has asked real estate agent Jones Lang LaSalle for help in raising up to $257 million from the sale and leaseback of some of its European offices and other property assets, the Financial Times said.

 

The plan is part of a global push by the carmaker to raise up to $4 billion from asset sales and capital market transactions as it runs critically short of cash, the paper said. In the US, the company is looking to sell and lease back the Renaissance Centre, the Detroit skyscraper complex that serves as its headquarters, the paper said. “We have engaged Jones Lang LaSalle to advise us on certain non-manufacturing assets,” Denis Chick, director of communications for GM UK and Ireland, told the paper.

GM would not comment on which assets it was seeking to sell in Europe, the paper said. However, a person familiar with the company’s plans told the paper the assets might include the offices of its Saab brand in Sweden and the Vauxhall headquarters in Luton, England. Jones Lang LaSalle confirmed it was advising GM, but declined to comment further, the paper said. GM is looking to dispose of real estate during one of the worst economic periods in recent memory, especially in the US and the UK, where many of the properties are located, according to the paper.

On Thursday, the carmaker said it aims to cut staff costs at its European operations by at least 10% to battle the impact of a sharp slump in demand for cars. General Motors and Jones Lang LaSalle could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. (Reuters)