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Opel dealers 'prepared to buy 20 percent stake'

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Opel dealers 'prepared to buy 20 percent stake'
Photo:DPA
11:33 CET+01:00
Desperate Opel dealers have suggested taking a stake in the struggling car company, by funnelling €225 million a year from sales profits into a holding company which would invest in the manufacturer.

The Rheinische Post reported on Wednesday that insiders suggest Opel dealers would be prepared to invest €150 from each sale into the company to try to keep it afloat.

The plan envisions this continuing for three years. In return they would receive shares from 2013.

Opel GmbH would have to be transformed into a public limited company, in which current owner GM would have a minority stake.

Peter Dahlmann, Opel dealer from Neuss in North Rhine Westphalia told the paper, “I reckon with a participation rate from 85 to 90 percent.”

He is a member of Eureda, the European association of Opel dealers, which he said was aiming to buy up 20 percent of the company.

The government's plans to rescue the firm will depend on GM developing a restructuring concept, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.

She told Bild newspaper, “Before we decide, we have to know about important decisions in the USA, for example, how it is likely to continue with the Opel owner General Motors, which responsibilities General Motors can give to Opel, and what is going to happen with the Opel patents.”

She said the government still intended to support companies such as Opel which were struggling in the current economic crisis.

Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, criticised the lack of hard information coming from GM, while distancing himself from calls made by other Christian Democrat Union (CDU) politicians for Opel to be allowed to fail.

“You did not hear such things from me,” he told the General Anzeiger

Hessen state premier Roland Koch dealt out harsher criticism to those such as Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg for talking about insolvency for Opel.

“With insolvency Opel's winding up would be decided, not the continuation of the company. It cannot be allowed to go so far that a company dies just because its death is talked up."

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