General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, said its lending arm made a bid in July for Ally Financial's international operations, which, if successful, could more than double its consolidated assets.

Ally, which in May said it was putting its Residential Capital mortgage subsidiaries in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is also seeking to divest more than $30 billion of assets in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Latin America.

"GM Financial and a number of other third parties submitted indicative bids in July and are at the preliminary stages of the bid process investigation," Detroit-based GM said yesterday in a U.S. regulatory filing.

Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, said he was interested in acquiring Ally's international operations in a May interview.

"We're interested in it, but we're not going to bleed to buy it," Akerson said in May at Bloomberg's New York headquarters. "We're the natural buyer."

The asset sales may allow Ally to repay two-thirds of the government rescue that left the U.S. Treasury Department with a 74% stake, Ally CEO Michael Carpenter said in May.

Ally has received "a very strong level of interest with nearly 30 different bidders," Carpenter said during a conference call Aug. 1.

"We are encouraged by the initial progress," Gina Proia, an Ally spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail statement.

GM had owned Ally's predecessor, GMAC, until 2006, when the automaker sold 51 percent of it to Cerberus Capital Management LP. GM Financial, the automaker's lending arm, was created by GM after acquiring Fort Worth, Texas-based auto ABS issuer AmeriCredit Corp. in 2010.

"If GM Financial is the successful bidder, its consolidated assets could potentially more than double, and it could incur substantial amounts of indebtedness, including secured debt," GM's filing said.


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