Friday, November 16, 2012

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) venture unit to exit one investment

U.S. automaker General Motors Company(NYSE:GM) plans to exit one from one of the investments made by its venture capital unit, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

The exit could be either through an initial public offering of the start-up firm or via a strategic stake sale, GM's chief technology officer Jon Lauckner said.

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GM had floated its venture fund unit more than a couple of years back with the intention of investing and incubating start-up ventures in automobile-related technologies. The venture fund had a corpus of $200 million.

"Hopefully we'll get an exit in the not-too-distant future," Lauckner told reporters on Wednesday. "And hopefully it will basically pay for all the other investments that we've made."

In January 2011, the automaker's venture unit GM Venture had invested $7 million in battery making start-up firm Envia Systems. The company develops technologies to make cheaper but powerful batteries for electric vehicles.

GM Ventures' focus areas for investment were in technologies involving environmental-friendly vehicles and auto-related entertainment technologies.

After the big financial crisis into which U.S. automakers were thrown into in 2008, which ultimately resulted in GM going bankrupt and Chrysler being sold, there has been a conscious effort by carmakers in the U.S. to develop vehicles that rely less on gasoline.

"There's no doubt, they have some very interesting technology," Lauckner said of Envia. "Having said that, we do not have a commercial agreement with the company. Although, we continue to talk about how they fit into our future electric vehicle plans."

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