Fiat and Magna Must Submit Full Plans for Opel to Germany by May 20
By Brendan Moore
German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has stated that there are two contenders for a partnership with Opel and those two candidates, Magna International and Fiat, have been asked to submit their detailed plans for Opel in five days.
Guttenberg told reporters, “We are dealing with two potential investors at the moment, with Fiat and Magna. By May 20, the two investors want to present their proposals. We are hoping for a more sustainable concept than has been presented to us so far,” he said, referring to both companies’ previous plan outlines.
He also noted that the German government was working on a bridge financing deal for Opel in the event that GM files bankruptcy before a partner can be found for Opel.
Fiat wants Opel in order to complete the desired Fiat-Chrylser-Opel triumvirate it so badly wants, and Magna (and some unnamed Russian investors) wants Opel so it can be a full-fledged automaker, and, protect a huge part of their supplier business.
Apparently there was a third potential investor, private equity firm Ripplewood’s European division. But RHJ, Ripplewoods’s European arm, developed a bad case of self-doubt along the way, and decided they just were not going to be taken seriously, next to the two automotive giants. So they exited early.
May 20 is not very far away, so the German government will declare the winner of a piece of Opel next week, and at least one part of the puzzle will be sorted out. As to whether or not GM will declare bankruptcy before then, its anyone’s guess, although the smart money is on GM declaring bankruptcy sometime next week.
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