Big car. Smaller and smaller offers.
The number of bidders for GM’s Hummer brand has narrowed down to three, with current offers ranging from $100 million to $200 million in cash, in addition to other commitments, sources told Reuters.
That would be a further comedown from what was already a comedown — investment bankers initially estimated that the iconic gas guzzler could fetch between $500 million and $750 million, considering it a distressed asset.
Last month, GM turned back a Kentucky industrialist with a lowball bid, who had also put together plans for new powertrain options for Hummer, including a hybrid version of the H3 that would double its fuel economy from the current 14-to-18 miles per gallon, a source said.
That leaves the carmaker, which has lost about $82 billion since 2005, with one U.S. bidder and two from overseas, sources said.
The bidders include private equity and wealthy individuals. Automakers, even from emerging markets, are notably absent.
DEALS OF THE DAY
* Private equity firm Crescent Point, founded by former Morgan Stanley <MS.N> bankers, is looking to sell its controlling stake in Masterskill, Malaysia’s largest nursing training school, sources said, in a deal that could fetch more than $200 million.
* U.S. Bancorp unit U.S. Bank will buy the corporate trust bond administration business of AmeriServ Financial.
* France’s Sanofi-Aventis plans to buy Brazilian drugmaker Medley in a deal that values the company at 500 million euros and will turn Sanofi into the top generics manufacturer in Latin America.
* Japan’s Sharp Corp and Pioneer Corp said they would set up a joint venture to merge their optical disc businesses, aiming to beef up one of their focus operations and take a leading position in the growing Blu-ray disc market.
* The German government offered 1.39 euros per share to take over Hypo Real Estate, the stricken Munich-based lender it plans to seize control of and restructure.
* British Airways does not feel under pressure to obtain a quick merger deal in talks with Iberia, BA’s Chief Executive said, according to Spanish newspaper Expansion.
* Thailand’s biggest energy firm, PTT, is studying the possibility of merging its four main subsidiaries in a bid to cut costs and boost efficiency, its president said.
(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)