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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Merkel Regrets Lack of Opel Buyer as GM Balks on Choice

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her regret at General Motors’ failure to choose a buyer for Opel and said a decision was “urgently” needed for the carmaker’s future.

In an interview with German ZDF television due to be broadcast on Sunday, Merkel said she felt that there might be a conflict of interest between GM and countries with a stake in its European operations but progress was being made.

“I regret that a final decision wasn’t made, but I hope it will happen soon, because both for the workers and the economic situation at Opel, we urgently need a decision,” she said.

Despite German pressure to back a bid by Magna International, General Motors on Friday declined to name the Canadian automotive firm as the winning bidder for Opel, leaving the fate of the carmaker up in the air.

German politicians have urged the United States to help broker a deal, and the Foreign Ministry said it had contacted the U.S. administration over the weekend with this in mind.

Sources familiar with the talks said GM directors wanted Berlin to say what financing would be available to back a rival Opel bid by RHJ International.

But a person familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg that General Motors’ board is considering all options for Opel, including rejecting the two bids and keeping it as a wholly owned subsidiary.

New GM directors, dominated by members who joined after a U.S.-backed bankruptcy, are also considering keeping or dissolving Opel, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the talks are not public.

“GM is in a lot better shape than they were back in February,” said Rebecca Lindland, a forecaster at IHS Global Insight. “Maybe that gives them more confidence to reconsider the decision.”

(Reuters, Bloomberg)