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General Motors Selling Most of Suzuki Stake

It will collect about $2 billion.
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General Motors

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will sell most of its stake in Japanese automaker Suzuki back to the company, collecting about $2 billion in the latest effort to shore up its financial house.

Suzuki agreed to repurchase the roughly 92 million shares GM acquired during an Asia expansion initiative in the 1990s. GM's 20% stake in the firm will be reduced to about 3%, although executives from both companies said existing alliances will remain in place.

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The step is the latest in a series of actions GM has undertaken to both raise and conserve cash. Last month, the company halved its common-share dividend and announced a restructuring of its post-retirement health care benefits. The company is in the process of closing a dozen plants and cutting 30,000 employees.

GM's board is meeting Monday to discuss a much larger asset-raising project, the company's effort to raise about $11 billion through the sale of a controlling stake in its General Motors Acceptance Corp. unit. Published reports say the leading bidder is currently a team including private-equity outfit Cerberus Capital and Citigroup.

Shares rose 47 cents, or 2.5%, to $19.68.