GM Is Close to Acquiring Supplier Cobasys

General Motors is close to acquiring Cobasys, a struggling joint venture that supplies batteries to some of its hybrid vehicles, trade publication Automotive News reported on Thursday.

GM logo, General Motors logo
GM logo, General Motors logo

A GM spokesman declined to comment on the sale report. Representatives of Cobasys could not be reached for comment.

Cobasys, a joint venture of a Chevron unit and Energy ConversionDevices , commenced negotiations with a potential buyer in early
2008, according to regulatory filings by Energy Conversion Devices in May.

An unnamed customer has supported the company by providing a loan for equipment purchases and agreed to pay higher prices on products purchased from Cobasys, the filing said.

Problems at Cobasys led GM to recall 9,000 vehicles late last year, and GM hired consulting form BBK Ltd to do a financial audit of Cobasys, Automotive News reported. Cobasys produces batteries for GM's Saturn Vue and Aura hybrids.

Cobasys had losses of about $76 million in 2007, and in January management forecast 2008 losses in the range of $82 million to $86 million, according to the regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.