Antitrust approval has been granted to a consortium led by hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management to acquire 51% of the finance arm of GM, General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC), according to Reuters.

The sale was reviewed by the US Federal Trade Commission.

By selling GM has secured a cash inflow of $14bn over the next three years, but over the long term it has lost a key asset.

GMAC has been keeping GM's car business afloat and last year paid a €2.8bn dividend to the company.

The sale is necessary, not just because GM needs the cash, but also because the finance company can no longer get access to cheap borrowings because it is a 100% subsidiary of GM, whose stock is rated as junk by investors.

GMAC needed to become independent to escape the problem.