Opel, Vauxhall bankruptcy staved by Obama dealMay 30th, 2009 - 10:58 pm ICT by John Le Fevre
Canadian car parts manufacturer Magna International will take over part of European car maker Opel, which includes the British Vauxhall brand, under a last minute deal brokered by US President Barack Obama.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the US President had helped clear some hurdles threatening the transaction in a telephone conversation.
Under the terms of the rescue package, Berlin will provide Opel with an immediate loan facility of €1.5 billion ($US2.1 billion) and about €4.5 billion ($US6.3 billion) in loan guarantees
The Canadian company has said it will put more than €500 million ($US700 million) into Opel, which employs more than 25,000 people in Germany and significant numbers of workers in Spain, Belgium, Poland and the UK.
Under the proposal, GM would keep 35 percent of the company and Opel’s workers would retain 10 percent. Magna would hold a 20 percent stake and Russia’s state-controlled Sberbank 35 percent.
The Canadian company, front-runner in the race to snap up Opel from the beginning, fought off rival bids from Italian carmaker Fiat and Brussels-based investment firm RHJ International.
In total, GM employs about 55,000 people Europe-wide, including around 7,000 in Spain, 4,700 in Britain at Vauxhall, 4,000 in Sweden at Saab, 3,600 in Poland, 2,600 in Belgium and 1,800 in Italy.
Magna said it planned to cut 2,500 jobs in Germany, about 10 percent of Opel’s workforce in that country, while Italy’s Fiat, had planned to cut 10,000 jobs.
- GM board refuses to accept Canada's Magna as Opel winner (Lead, changing dateline) - Aug 22, 2009
- GM to sell off its Opel subsidiary - Sep 10, 2009
- Fiat not to leave Italy amid sales plunge - Sep 19, 2012
- Canada's Magna, Russian bank bid for 55 percent stake in Opel - Jul 22, 2009
- GM board reluctant to sell Opel to Canada's Magna - Aug 25, 2009
- GM executives, board, split over Opel fate: Report - Aug 22, 2009
- GM U-turn shocks Berlin and Moscow, angers workers - Nov 05, 2009
- GM to sell off 55 percent of Opel subsidiary (Lead) - Sep 11, 2009
- General Motors to cut about 9,000 jobs in Europe - Nov 25, 2009
- Opel decision only before Frankfurt auto show - Aug 26, 2009
- Fiat doubts about future of GM's German operations - May 09, 2009
- Russia's Sberbank insists on technology transfers with Opel sale - Sep 19, 2009
- GM confirms to keep Opel, scraps Magna deal - Nov 04, 2009
- Fiat workers strike in Italy over bonuses - Jul 13, 2010
- GM boss Whitacre stepping down after eight months - Aug 12, 2010
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