GM can shed sponsorships, judge rules

July 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM
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DETROIT, July 14 (UPI) -- A U.S. federal judge ruled financially challenged General Motors Co. can walk away from dozens of expensive sponsorships and pricey perks to save money.

The ruling Monday allows GM to walk away from 54 deals that did not directly relate to the automaker's core operations, the Detroit News reported Tuesday.

The agreements included VIP suites at international auto raceways, naming rights for a Lansing baseball stadium and Times Square billboards.

Separately, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber approved an agreement that would allow GM to join with Parnassus Holdings LLC to buy Delphi Corp, mired in bankruptcy since October 2005.

GM has already ended sponsorships with PGA golfer Tiger Woods, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and a number of events such as the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.

"The executory contracts are no longer necessary for the debtors' ongoing business and create unnecessary and burdensome expenses for the debtors' estates," a GM lawyer wrote in a court filing.

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