Belgium's RHJ International has emerged this week as a strong rival to Magna International in bidding for GMs' German arm Opel.
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The holding firm, which is linked to the US buyout company Ripplewood, said it is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in Opel and wants to agree on a preliminary deal with GM this week.

"We felt we've reached advanced stages of negotiations, and we feel it is now appropriate to confirm these talks," RHJ spokesman Arnaud Denis said.

RHJ also said it needs a smaller amount of German government guarantees to finance the deal than Magna (3.8 billion euros versus 4.5 billion euros respectively) and is seeking a stake between 51 per cent to 55 per cent of Opel.