GM acquires AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion

AmeriCredit Corp., an independent automobile finance company that provides financing solutions through auto dealers across the nation, will be acquired by General Motors in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion.

“This acquisition supports our efforts to design, build and sell the world”s best vehicles by expanding the financing options we can offer to consumers who want to buy GM vehicles,” said GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Whitacre. “Adding AmeriCredit to our team will improve our competitiveness in auto financing offerings, and I am very pleased to have them on board.”

After everything is said and done, AmeriCredit will become the core of a new GM captive financing arm that will enable GM to provide customers with a more complete financing options. Upon completion of the transaction, AmeriCredit also plans to also re-enter the leasing business which will provide expanded leasing availability for all GM customers.

AmeriCredit has about 3,000 employees in the United States and Canada, 800,000 customers and 9 billion in auto receivables.

Hit the jump for the press release.

Press Release:

GM to Acquire AmeriCredit

* Will form core of GM”s captive finance arm
* Bolsters retail financing options for dealers and consumers, supporting GM North America sales growth

DETROIT ““ To meet customer demand for leasing and non-prime financing for GM vehicles, General Motors and AmeriCredit Corp. (NYSE: ACF) today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for GM to acquire AmeriCredit, one of the nation’s leading independent auto finance companies, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion.

The acquisition establishes the core of a new GM captive financing arm that will enable GM to provide customers with a more complete range of financing options, while creating significant growth opportunities for both GM and AmeriCredit. Since GM and AmeriCredit launched a successful non-prime program in September 2009, GM”s non-prime penetration has increased significantly. Upon completion of the transaction, AmeriCredit intends to also re-enter the leasing business which will provide expanded leasing availability for all GM customers.

Direct ownership of AmeriCredit”s expertise will provide consistent availability of non-prime financing for GM customers throughout all economic cycles. While AmeriCredit already has relationships with approximately 4,000 GM dealers, this transaction will enhance dealer receptivity and improve sales penetration rates through coordinated GM branding and targeted customer marketing initiatives.

“With AmeriCredit providing us niche capabilities in leasing and non-prime financing, along with the continued strong support of Ally Financial and others for prime retail and dealer financing, we”ve set up a very competitive solution for our financing needs, which will be resilient through credit and business cycles,” said GM Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, Chris Liddell.

AmeriCredit President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Berce said, “We”re excited about joining the GM team. While we will be expanding our product set to more fully support GM, we”ll continue to offer our loan products to the more than 11,000 dealers across the country we serve today. Long term, this transaction will deliver benefits to our dealers, customers and employees.”

The highly regarded AmeriCredit management team will remain intact, which will assist in minimizing integration risk and maximizing opportunities between the two companies.

With total assets of approximately $10 billion, the acquisition of AmeriCredit poses minimal impact to GM”s balance sheet, and does not change GM”s objective of achieving strong investment grade status. Under GM ownership, AmeriCredit will maintain its own direct access to the capital markets for its financing requirements.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors, at closing, AmeriCredit shareholders will receive $24.50 in cash for each share of stock held as of the transaction closing date.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, pending certain closing conditions, including the approval of AmeriCredit shareholders.

GM and AmeriCredit will hold a joint conference call today for analysts and media at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The toll-free number for U.S. callers is 800-764-4852. The dial-in number for international callers is 1-212-231-2917. When prompted, please ask to be connected to the General Motors conference call. Details on the call and information about how to access a replay of the call can be found on the GM or AmeriCredit websites at www.gm.com/corporate/investor_information/cal_events or www.americredit.com/investors/presentations.asp, respectively.

– By: Omar Rana