JARDINE International Motor Holdings will come under the direct control of Jardine Matheson Holdings after corporate restructuring. The Mercedes-Benz car distributor is controlled by Jardine Pacific, which has a 75 per cent stake, and is a direct subsidiary of Jardine Matheson. The asset reshuffle will make Jardine Motor a first-tier subsidiary of Jardine Matheson. Group managing director Alasdair Morrison said the transfer would finalise the structure for future development of Jardine Motor. Just what was meant by future development was not made clear, but some analysts suspect a share swap with Cycle & Carriage may be on the cards. Analysts said the move did not make any real difference to the operations or income of the groups involved, but hinted that it might be the first part of a consolidation involving the Cycle & Carriage group, which distributes Mercedes cars in Singapore and Malaysia. Jardine Strategic Holdings owns about 24 per cent of Cycle & Carriage, which distributes Mercedes in Singapore. Jardine Motor, meanwhile, has a 13 per cent stake in Cycle & Carriage Bintang, which distributes Mercedes in Malaysia. Analysts suspected the reshuffling could see Jardine Matheson consolidate its holding in all three listed distributors. A share swap involving Cycle & Carriage and Jardine Motor could not be ruled out, said an analyst. 'I suspect they will swap some shares in Jardine Motor for shares in the two Cycle & Carriage companies to create a regional motor distributing powerhouse,' said one analyst. The move would also strengthen Jardine Motor's defence against a possible takeover attempt, similar to the way the cross-holdings between Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic make a takeover of the group difficult. Anthony Nightingale will remain joint managing director of Jardine Motor. Richard Lee, also a joint managing director, will join the Asia-Pacific regional board of Jardine Matheson. The transfer comes into effect on December 31, and will not affect the primary listing of Jardine Motor on the exchange. Jardine Motor will be the only Jardine group company left listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The other five Jardine companies move to Singapore next year. On the transfer, Mr Morrison said: 'Jardine Motor has achieved rapid growth since its formation in 1990 and has become a truly international motor vehicle group with operations in Asia, Australia, the United States, France and England.' 'It is timely for Jardine Motor to be positioned alongside Jardine Pacific as a direct subsidiary of Jardine Matheson.' Last year, Jardine Motor recorded turnover in excess of US$920 million and net profit of $73 million. It contributed 33 per cent of Jardine Pacific's net profit and 14 per cent of the consolidated net profit of Jardine Matheson.