By Drew Johnson
Tuesday, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 5:33 pm
 

General Motors is said to be on the verge of securing a deal to buy Ally Financial's international operations for $4 billion. GM has been eying a stake in Ally's international businesses since May.

According to The Detroit News, GM is zeroing in on a deal to purchase Ally's finance operations in Europe and Latin America. Sources have indicated the deal could cost GM about $4 billion.

Ally, a former GM subsidy that was once known as GMAC, is looking to repay a $17.2 billion bailout loan through the sale of some of its assets. Ally, which is currently 74 percent owned by the United States government, has so far repaid about $5.9 billion of its debt.

Ally is remaining mum on the deal, but said: "We continue to be focused on maximizing shareholder value and finding the best solutions for the remaining international operations."

Although a stake in the European auto lending business might seem like an added risk for GM, it could actually help the Detroit-based automaker turnaround its European operations. RBC Capital explained in a briefing this week that "expanding its auto financing capabilities is a strategic positive for GM, particularly in Europe. In fact, expanding auto financing was listed as one of GM's key initiatives to improve its revenue in Europe on the way to break-even profitability by mid-decade. Captive finance companies not only allow automakers to finance customers to support sales, but also to increase brand loyalty."

An official announcement on the subject is expected in the coming weeks.