[KUALA LUMPUR] France's PSA , the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, said it is "responding" to an approach for a partnership deal with Malaysian carmaker Proton, as people familiar with the matter said the DRB-Hicom conglomerate that owns Proton is looking to sell a stake in the long-struggling firm.
"Peugeot confirms it is responding to a request for proposals initiated by Proton and its shareholder DRB-Hicom," said a spokesman for PSA in Paris. The spokesman declined to comment on what PSA's response would be, or the nature of the proposals requested by Proton.
One person familiar with the matter said Proton sent proposals for foreign partnership to nearly 20 carmakers earlier this year. People in Kuala Lumpur said DRB-Hicom has not ruled out selling a majority stake in Proton, and may also consider selling British sports and racing car brand Lotus, owned by Proton.
The people familiar with the matter declined to be identified because the discussions were private.
These people said Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp and French carmaker Renault SA are also responding to Proton's request for proposals. Suzuki and Renault officials declined to comment.
Proton and DRB-Hicom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.