An investor group including private equity firm Black Oak Partners has approached General Motors Corp about buying the assets of its Saturn brand and distribution network, according to a press statement issued Wednesday.
The Black Oak group stated it would initially sell GM vehicles through Saturn's 440 U.S. and Canadian dealers and later might add fuel-efficient models from other automakers, according to the statement.
The group, which also includes Saturn dealers, said it was in talks to buy the assets of Saturn Distribution Corporation, an independent GM subsidiary with which Saturn dealers have their franchise agreements.
On Wednesday, General Motors responded to the Black Oak statement:
As noted in GM's viability plan (Feb. 17, 2009 submission), GM announced it would review the potential spin-off or sale of Saturn and if those options did not prove viable Saturn's operations would be wound down over time.
Over approximately the past 60 days, a sub-committee of Saturn retailers has been studying the feasibility of the sale or spin-off options, and has identified some parties that are potentially interested in a purchase or spin-off of Saturn. We are advised that one of the interested parties is Black Oak Partners. We are not at liberty to discuss any other interested party.
With respect to what the eventual outcome concerning Saturn might be with Black Oak or any other interested party, it is simply premature at this time to speculate on what any eventual outcome may be. When we have additional information on this topic, we will communicate to all involved.