General Motors could exit bankruptcy soon by selling its best assets to a new, leaner company that is largely owned by the U.S. government.

GM filed for bankruptcy protection from its many creditors on June 1, and won approval for the sale last Sunday.

The judge gave people who disagreed with the sale until midday Thursday to file appeals, and that deadline has now passed.

A news report says at least one appeal has been filed, but it is not yet clear if a judge will decide the action should hold up the planned sale.

The sale would create a "new GM" - a smaller, leaner, more efficient company with fewer debts and labor expenses.  Assets that have not been profitable will be left with the old company and may be sold to pay at least part of the old company's debts. 

GM has been propped up by billions of dollars in government aid, and the company is giving Washington a majority share of the company's stock in return.

 Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.