from Edmunds Inside Line
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Could Lotus Cars be on the verge of getting a new owner? Only weeks after the British sports-car company's majority owner, Malaysia's Proton Holdings, concluded talks with Volkswagen about a partnership, another Malaysian company has reportedly inquired about buying Proton's stake in Lotus.
Reuters news service, citing Malaysian news media, says "a Malaysian carmaker" has approached Proton about the 63.75 percent stake in Lotus, which Proton has held since 1996.
Proton's stock dropped 18 percent on November 21, the day the end of talks with Volkswagen became known. The company revealed an eight-year plan a month ago that involves heavy reliance on exports and low-cost products.
Although the company does appear to be at a turning point, Malaysia's Edge newspaper, citing an investment research group, notes that there are two obstacles to any sale of the British sports-car company: Proton has an agreement in place to sell Lotus technology to a Chinese company, and it also needs continued access to Lotus' technology for the future products it hopes to introduce.
What this means to you: The global merger-and-acquisition dance continues. — Laura Sky Brown, Correspondent