Top-level disagreement delays Opel decision

Top-level disagreement delays Opel decision
Photo: DPA
The decision on the future of Opel, expected to be made on Friday evening, has again been postponed after managers at General Motors could not agree on which bid to accept for its troubled German unit.

The two bidders are a consortium including Austrian-Canadian car parts manufacturer Magna backed by the state-owned Russian Sberbank and Belgian investor RHJ International.

Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said he was disappointed that no agreement could be reached. “I regret that the supervisory board could not fight through to a decision,” he told the website of the Hamburger Abendblatt on Saturday.

“The federal and state governments have made all information available to GM which was considered to be necessary to reach an agreement. And the bidders have again produced improved and signature-ready contracts.”

Newswire Dow Jones reported that well-informed sources say that the GM management had initially spoken out in favour of the Magna-Sberbank bid.

But the supervisory board used its veto and said the bid of RHJ International should be taken more seriously.

There is no firm timetable for further progress, although talks will be resumed at the start of next week. Although the GM recommendation is crucial, the final decision will lie with politicians and the Opel trustee council.

The German government is said to favour the Magna-Sberbank bid, while GM is said to be more interested in the RHJ International bid.

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