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July 22, 2010 6:17 PM

Andrews Kurth, Hunton Lead on $3.5B GM, AmeriCredit Deal

Posted by Irene Plagianos

General Motors announced Thursday that it will buy auto-financing company AmeriCredit in a cash deal valued at $3.5 billion, or about $24.50 a share.

The acquisition reestablishes an in-house lending division for the car maker, The New York Times reports. In 2006, amidst severe debt woes, GM sold off its GMAC financing arm, now known as Ally Financial.

The current acquisition will provide GM dealers with greater options to offer its customers lease financings and loans, which GM hopes will help boost sales, The New York Times reports. The lending-arm buy also is seen as an important step in GM's move towards an initial public offering, which it might file for as early as August, according to the Times.

Andrews Kurth advised GM on the deal. Mark Solomon, managing partner of the firm's Dallas office, and M&A partner Melinda Brunger led a team that also included corporate partners W. Lance Schuler, Jeff Dodd, Quentin Faust, Mark Harris, employee benefits partner Chris Fenelon, tax partner Tom Popplewell, and restructuring partner Sharon Ward.

AmeriCredit was represented by Hunton & Williams's L. Steven Leshin, along with M&A partners Gregg Schmitt and Doug Berman, tax partner Jeff Blair, employee benefits partner Scott Austin, and labor partner Alan Marcuis. Leshin has represented AmeriCredit since 1988. He says negotiations for the sale began in June. "Everyone's happy with the deal," he says. "I think it's a cornerstone transaction for AmeriCredit to be joining GM."

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld corporate partner Robert Dockery advised AmeriCredit’s Special Committee of the Board. 

AmeriCredit selling shareholder Leucadia National Corporation was represented by Weil, Gotshal & Manges M&A partner Andrea Bernstein. FairHolme Funds, another AmeriCredit shareholder, was advised by Greenberg Traurig.

AmeriCredit general counsel Michael May and in-house attorney Trey Brown also advised on the sale.

GM has been working with AmeriCredit--thousands of its dealers currently rely on the lending firm in offering financing options to customers.

The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter.

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