GM pushing to conclude Opel sale

General Motors Company has no intention of reopening the sale process for its European operations, which build Opel and Vauxhall vehicles, and remains intent on reaching a deal with one of the two remaining bidders as quickly as possible.
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GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young said the company was looking to wrap up the Opel/Vauxhall sale as quickly as possible even after improvements in its own financial position removed the immediate threat of bankruptcy for Opel, reports Reuters Newsagency.

"I think everyone is anxious to get this thing done," Mr Young said on the sidelines of a GM event at its vehicle testing facility outside Detroit.

Canadian auto parts group Magna International is locked in a battle with Belgium-based investor RHJ International to buy GM Europe in negotiations that also involve the German government.


Berlin has thrown its support behind Magna's offer, which is backed by Russia's Sberbank, on the grounds that it offers better protection for the 25,000 jobs on Opel's payroll in Germany.

GM has expressed reservations about the Magna deal, saying it wants to make sure that its proprietary technology in Opel/Vauxhall is protected in any partnership. Talks between GM and Magna last week failed to produce a deal for Opel.


GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson told Reuters in an interview at the same event that he did not expect to reopen the Opel sale to any party beyond Magna and RHJ.

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"I don't think so," Mr Henderson said when asked if a dark horse bidder could emerge for Opel.

Although GM is leading the talks on the Opel sale, the German government is being asked to provide billions of euros in aid to finance the deal.


The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has openly supported the Magna bid for GM Europe, and has indicated she would intervene personally to support Magna if needed.

With a federal election looming next month, the German government is keen to avoid an unpopular takeover and mass layoffs.

GM emerged from bankruptcy in the United States in July under the majority ownership of the US Treasury, which invested US$50 billion in the troubled carmaker.