March 9, 2015 / 12:42 AM / 2 years ago

General Motors, Wilson seek to avoid proxy fight: WSJ

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General Motors headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan is seen in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009.Jeff Kowalsky/Files

(Reuters) - General Motors Co is in discussions with activist shareholder Harry J. Wilson and his proposal to join the automaker's board and to return $8 billion to investors, with the hope of avoiding a proxy fight, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The terms of any outcome are unknown but both sides want a way forward, unnamed people familiar with the matter told the Journal. The discussions were ongoing Sunday night and no deal is assured, the report said.

A deal would need to be decided soon if Wilson is to be on the proxy since the necessary documents need to be in place before the annual shareholder meeting which could take place as soon as June, the report said. An impasse in talks could presage a proxy fight.

Wilson, who was one of the architects of GM's government bailout, is criticizing GM's cash management and share price.

GM said it is considering returning cash to shareholders later this year, a plan that takes all investors into account not just Wilson, an unnamed source told the Journal.

A representative for GM and Wilson did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Eric Walsh

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