AT first glance, the decision to restructure the shareholding of Jardine International Motor Holdings may look like some orderly house cleaning. The deal basically transfers the 75 per cent stake in Jardine Motor from Jardine Pacific to Jardine Matheson Holdings. As Jardine Pacific is a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson, the move does not affect earnings of the group, which begs the question of why do it at all. A simple and innocuous statement from the company said the decision was made because it would recognise the development of Jardine Motor into a global business unit. Nice business-school jargon, but seriously, who has a difficulty recognising Mercedes-Benz? Perhaps the clue to unravelling this mystery lies in the statement that the move will finalise the structure for the development of Jardine Motor. The question is then what development plans does Jardine Motor have that it needs to change its corporate structure? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the company will try to arrange a share swap with Cycle & Carriage in Singapore. Jardine Strategic Holdings has a 24 per cent stake in Cycle & Carriage, while Jardine Motor has a 12.6 per cent stake in Cycle & Carriage Bintang. Like Jardine Motor, Cycle & Carriage distributes Mercedes-Benz, as well as Mitsubishi, Mazda and Hyundai in places such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. A share swap could create an unrivalled powerhouse regional car distribution company. It would also add strength to Jardine Motor, which is so dependent on the Mercedes franchise in Hong Kong. If it forms a regional car distributor, it will have much more clout with the car-makers. A share swap would draw it closer to Singapore, the new seat of Jardine power, and enmesh it deeper into the corporate fold. Another possibility is that Jardine is planning to sell its stake in Jardine Motor to Cycle & Carriage. Analysts have speculated such a sale would raise $4 billion for Jardine, money which could be used to build its southern corporate empire. No doubt the strategy will become clear sooner or later. As is often the case with Jardine, investors will have to keep guessing until Jardine bares all.