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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

German Minister Sees Magna Deal for Opel by Month’s End

APAn Opel sign in front of the company’s headquarters in central Germany.

General Motors may reach an initial purchase accord with Magna International on GM’s Opel unit by the end of July, even as the U.S. carmaker holds talks with rival bidders, a German state minister said Monday.
“We’re not too worried” that GM’s talks with Magna will be derailed by the Canadian firm’s demands that it control GM’s Chevrolet brand in Russia and other issues, said Juergen Reinholz, economy minister of Thuringia.
“We haven’t heard of insurmountable problems, so our expectation for a deal on a business plan by the end of the month still stands,” said Reinholz, who discussed bids for Opel on Thursday with fellow state ministers and the German federal government.
Germany is providing loan guarantees for Opel’s sale, and Thuringia is one of four states with Opel plants. The government chose a team of Magna and Sberbank on May 30 as its preferred bidder for the division.
Beijing Automotive Industry Holding and Brussels-based private-equity firm RHJ International have also submitted proposals for Opel. RHJ said Monday that it was in “advanced” negotiations about acquiring a majority holding in the division.
RHJ waited until Monday to confirm its interest because only now did it feel it was close enough to go public, spokesman Arnaud Denis said. “We felt we’ve reached advanced stages of negotiations, and we feel it is now appropriate to confirm these talks,” he said.
(Bloomberg, Reuters)