Chinese company bids for GM’s Opel

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The Detroit News is reporting that another bidder has emerged for GM’s Opel unit.

General Motors Corp. has increased its negotiating options for its German subsidiary Adam Opel GmbH by obtaining a second offer from Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.

GM already is in talks to transfer control of cash-strapped Opel to a consortium led by Canadian supplier Magna International Inc. after concluding a preliminary deal on May 30.

But those discussions have hit stumbling blocks, with negotiators unable to agree on issues such as safeguards for GM and Opel proprietary technology.

GM continued talking to other potential partners, and GM spokesman Chris Preuss told Bloomberg News on Friday that Beijing Automotive had submitted an offer for Opel.

He did not elaborate except to say that it was a nonbinding proposal, like Magna’s.

Preuss said the talks with Magna remain on track.

Italy’s Fiat SpA and Brussels-based RHJ International SA also have expressed an interest in taking a stake in Opel. GM is also in talks with RHJ, an industrial holding company.

But Magna’s proposal prevailed in May, with both GM and the German government viewing it as the best solution for Opel. Berlin’s view matters because the German government is providing financial aid to Opel and trying to shield the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker from GM’s troubles.

The entire industry is being turned on its head, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  

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