GM may take one-third of Isuzu image

General Motors Co (GM.N) may buy more than one-third in Isuzu Motors Ltd – an investment worth some $3 billion, Reuters reports citing a person with direct knowledge of the talks.

If realized, the deal would revive a 35-year capital alliance that was scrapped during GM’s 2006 restructuring. It is unclear how the deal would affect Toyota’s 5.9 percent holding – purchased just months after GM divested its shares in 2006.

The report added that Isuzu will end capital tie-up talks with Volkswagen if a deal with GM is confirmed, although negotiations for supplying pickups to VW in the Thai market could continue.

The two companies are expected to start negotiations in early May and are working on arranging a meeting between GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Isuzu President Susumu Hosoi with the goal of reaching an agreement by the summer, the Nikkei reported Sunday.

GM declined to comment. “While we do not comment on rumor and speculation, we routinely speak with other (automakers) on a range of issues,” spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin said.

Mitsubishi Corp. currently owns 9.2% of Isuzu, while Toyota Motor Corp. holds a 5.9% stake, Bloomberg said.

Isuzu rose 1.5 percent to ¥466 at 10:55 a.m. in Tokyo trading. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average declined 1 percent.