RHJ Improves bid for GM’s Opel
As GM’s negotiations with supplier Magna International have hit obstacles, GM has stepped up its talks with other suitors to find a buyer for Opel.
Magna International is GM’s preferred bidder in the company’s search to offload a stake in its German Opel brand. The Canadian parts supplier signed a memorandum of understanding with GM to buy a 55-percent stake in Opel and remains in the top spot to reach a definitive sale agreement. Magna has support of the Social Democrats in Germany’s government, regional administrators, and trade unions.
However, the talks between GM and Magna hit stumbling blocks because of Magna’s wish to access the Detroit carmaker’s global technology. Magna wants access to GM’s global technology for its Russian partners in the possible sale of Opel. Magna would like to build Opel-based cars in Russia in cooperation with GAZ, a local automaker.
According to a source close to the Opel sale process, Belgian industrial holding company RHJ International improved its bid and GM is “taking it very seriously.” The person is reporting that GM may also sign a memorandum of understanding with RHJ to leave its options open since the talks with Magna hit obstacles.
“GM’s negotiating team would love to see if we can get two very solid, definitive agreements sketched out from which to choose,” the source said.
RHJ’s new offer was said to have taken into greater account the political sensitivity over job losses in Germany. The German government is providing €1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) in bridge financing to keep Opel afloat while GM undergoes bankruptcy reorganization.
Source: Financial Times