GM weighs sale of DirecTV parent

News Corp., Disney and Liberty Media possible suitors

General Motors said Thursday that it’s reviewing strategic alternatives for its Hughes Electronics subsid, including possible sale of the DirecTV parent.

GM said it will decide within months what to do with Hughes, but officials cautioned that an outright sale of the unit is not a certainty and a more modestly structured strategic alliance is another possibility.

Observers have long speculated on a possible spinoff of the GM tracking stock, with News Corp., Disney and Liberty Media among companies considered possible suitors for Hughes.

Vice chairman Ted Turner once mused that Time Warner would like to acquire DirecTV. But that’s considered unlikely in the foreseeable future, as rumblings in Washington, D.C., suggest America Online may have to dump even its existing 5% Hughes stake to secure regulatory approval of AOL’s merger with Time Warner.

GM spokeswoman Catherine Dunsby declined comment on a press report that the automotive giant has hired Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman Sachs to advise on a Hughes strategy.

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