Renault, Toyota and Mitsui have signed a memorandum of understanding with Valores Bavaria indicating their intention to acquire its 51.3% stake in the Colombian car company Sofasa SA.

The agreement to transfer the shares is planned to be concluded by March 1, 2003, and at that time Sofasa will be 60% owned by Renault, 28% by Toyota and 12% by Mitsui.

Valores Bavaria, which holds a 51.3% stake in Sofasa alongside Renault (23.7%), Toyota (17.5%) and Mitsui (7.5%), has indicated its intention to pull out of the car industry to refocus on its core-business activities. Renault, Toyota and Mitsui have agreed to negotiate the final terms of the purchase of the equity held by Valores Bavaria in Sofasa S.A. to become the sole shareholders with equity stakes of 60%, 28% and 12%, respectively.

Sofasa’s Medellin plant has a capacity of 44,000 vehicles per year and a workforce of 850. The company assembles Renault cars (Twingo, Clio, Clio sedan and Mégane Classic sedan) and Toyota light commercial vehicles (Prado, Hilux and Land Cruiser) and operates 31 dealerships.

Sofasa also distributes vehicles for Toyota in Colombia, and handles distribution for Renault in the Andean Pact region and some Central American countries.

It also imports and distributes Renault vehicles, including the Laguna, and Toyota vehicles (Land Cruiser and Corolla), in addition to the range assembled locally.

In Venezuela, Sofasa distributes the Renault range through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sofaven, which was founded in 1995.

Sofasa has produced almost 500,000 Renault and Toyota vehicles in Colombia since it was founded in 1969.