JOHANNESBURG -- General Motors is to buy the remaining 51 percent of South Africa's Delta Motor Corp., subject to government approval, the two parties said on Wednesday.
GM has a 49 percent stake in the Eastern Cape-based automotive manufacturer, acquired in 1997 when it returned to South Africa after 11 years. Negotiations for the takeover of Delta Motor resumed last year.
GM has in the interim appointed Robert Socia president and managing director of the new company to be named General Motors South Africa. It also named Jeffrey McGuire as human resources director of the new entity.
Socia is formerly a vice president of GM Europe in charge of worldwide purchasing.
"These appointments are subject to final government approval of GM's proposal to purchase the remaining 51 percent of Delta Motor Co," the parties said in a joint statement.
The country's competition authorities are considering the transaction. Delta was formed in 1986 through a management buyout when the U.S. automotive giant left South Africa in protest against the then apartheid regime.
Analysts said the move is necessary to give General Motors an export base.
If the deal is approved by the company's Competition Commission, GM will join European and Japanese rivals such as BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Toyota Motor Corp. who have consolidated their positions in South Africa through either wholly owned subsidiaries or majority shareholdings in local units.
Toyota Motor Corp took control of Toyota South Africa two years ago. South Africa has become an export-production base for overseas-based car manufacturers.
Delta employs more than 4,000 people and assembles GM's Opel brand Corsa and Astra cars and Isuzu light trucks. Last year, GM awarded Delta a contract to distribute Chevrolet products in South Africa.