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by Tim Beissmann

Renault, in partnership with Nissan and Renault Samsung, has submitted a letter of intent to purchase South Korean manufacturer Ssangyong.

Renault is among a group of six bidders being considered by the struggling SUV maker which includes Indian utility manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra.

South Korea’s fourth largest vehicle manufacturer has been in a state of court-imposed restructuring after being placed into receivership in January 2009 following losses of $US75 million ($92 million).

The impending deal is expected to be worth up to $US500 million ($610 million).

Meanwhile, tie-up talks between Volkswagen and Malaysian small car manufacturer Proton have stalled for a second time, with the German giant saying it has “other priorities” to focus on.

“Talks that might have been taking place recently have not proceeded anymore and there will not be further talks,” Volkswagen spokesman Peik Von Bestenbostel told Bloomberg.

The news sent Proton shares down 5.7 percent – their most dramatic single-day drop in more than one year.

Similar tie-up talks were also dropped in November 2007 when, after significant negotiations, Proton walked away in an attempt to resurrect itself from five consecutive quarterly losses.

Proton said in a statement that it “acknowledges” the decision made by Volkswagen and plans to push on with collaborative works with Mitsubishi and remains committed to expanding into China in the near future with Youngman Automobile Group.

(with Reuters, Bloomberg)




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