SHANGHAI -- Shanghai Automotive Co. Ltd., owner of a fifth of General Motors' main China car plant, said on Thursday its parent had completed the shift of its 70 percent stake in the listed firm to another unit.
"We were recently advised by our parent that the transfer has been completed," the listed arm said without elaborating in a statement published in the official Shanghai Securities News.
The transfer moved control of the listed firm to Shanghai Automotive Group Co. Ltd., a new unit set up at the end of 2004 to pave the way for parent Shanghai Automotive Industry (Group) Corp. to list overseas or at home in a public offering that could raise as much as $2 billion in 2005 or beyond.
Shanghai Automotive, China's top carmaker and GM's main partner in China, set up the new holding firm for its car assets in a revamp ahead of the long-awaited initial public offering.
The new company will serve as the public face of Shanghai Automotive and own its stakes in car-making ventures with GM and Volkswagen AG in China's financial hub of Shanghai.
Including the listed unit's stake, Shanghai Automotive owns half of the joint ventures with those foreign companies.
Shanghai Automotive acquired 48.9 percent of South Korea's Ssangyong Motor Co. for about $500 million last year and had talked with Britain's MG Rover about setting up a venture.
Shanghai Automotive, picked as number 461 by Fortune magazine in its Fortune 500 ranking of companies, sold 843,000 vehicles in 2004, up 7.8 percent from 2003. It makes cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles and tractors.