DETROIT -- General Motors shareholder Kirk Kerkorian, frustrated with CEO Rick Wagoner's lack of enthusiasm for an alliance with Nissan-Renault, will ask the board of directors to hire an independent committee to study the deal, says a source familiar with the situation.
GM's board will meet Tuesday, Oct. 3. At that time, Kerkorian's representative, Jerry York, is expected to push for third parties not connected to GM to study the benefits of the alliance. Other board members are expected to support the request, but it's not clear how many favor an independent committee, the source says.
Kerkorian, who owns a 9.9 percent stake in GM, this week said he may buy more shares. He proposed an alliance between GM and Nissan-Renault in July. GM agreed to enter exploratory talks with Nissan-Renault for 90 days. Those talks are being led by management of all three companies.
Wagoner has repeatedly said that GM's first priority is focusing on its turnaround plan, not an alliance. GM lost $10.6 billion last year.
The source says that the board could vote to hire the independent committee or give management more time to study the alliance.
The source says that board members favoring an independent committee will likely argue it is needed, in part, to protect GM from potential shareholder lawsuits for ignoring their fiduciary responsibility.
You may e-mail Jamie LaReau at [email protected]