Enemies bury hatchet for auto deal

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JOHNSON MATTHEY, the world's top marketer of precious metals, and General Motors, the world's largest automaker, agreed to settle a six-year legal dispute over the supply of automotive catalysts and will work together to develop new fuel-cell technology.

GM and Johnson Matthey fell out in 1993 over a supply pact, as "both companies felt the other was in breach of that agreement,'' said John Sheldrick, Johnson Matthey's finance director. The companies have applied to the US federal court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to have their respective claims dismissed. Johnson Matthey shares rose 15.5 pence, or 2.4 per cent, to a 52-week high of 649.5p.