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One of the many clauses that General Motors is reportedly trying negotiate into any deal involving majority control of Opel is the option to eventually buy back the stake it is selling.

As the theory goes, GM isn't selling Opel because it feels like it doesn't add value – Opel in fact offers huge value to GM and has had lead responsibility for developing the global mid-sized, compact and small car platforms being used by the automaker. Instead, Opel is on the block because the home office needs the cash. Thus, if GM is able to be flush with cash once again, it would like to reserve the right to regain to full control.

According to Reuters, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany's economics minister is having none of that business. In fact, he has apparently told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that no such clause would be allowed if Opel is to receive any German government aid. The German government is also wary of any financial groups like Belgium's RHJ International taking a stake – instead, they reportedly prefer an owner with a long term interest in the industry like Magna International.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Ralph Orlowski/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      So basically the Russians can buy it but GM can't.

      If I was German and had to choose between the Russians and the Americans...

      Well I guess the answer is not as obvious as I thought.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Rich

        Exactly, GM is trying to treat this like they're handing Opel off to a Pawn Shop for a limited time. They shouldn't be treated special just cause they owned it first. Once they let it go, it's up for grabs and that's that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Note: GM isn't being *refused* the right to buy back Opel. They're being refused the *exclusive* right to buy it back. They'll be treated the same as anyone else. Just like if I sell my car to you -- would *you* waive your right to sell it to anyone else?

        Americans are being treated to a lesson in how the Free Market Economy works.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems stupid of GM to sell off Opel considering the engineering expertise that Opel has.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Technically Opel has no engineering expertise. GM Europe's design studio is separate. All the Adam Opel division owns is the brand name and the factories.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It sound's shady on GM's part but you can't blame them. GM has been backing Opel for years, It's obvious they would wan't all of Opel back when they are in better shape instead of letting a rival take it all, I would do the same.

        GM should just say the deal to sell Opel is off and shut down three of the four plants in Germany and the GM russian plant to save cash and blame it on the German goverment. They would be under very heavy pressure to deal with all those job losses during these tough times because we are talking about thousands of jobs here.

        Hard line stance?. Yes, But this is a new GM and they have to be ruthless this time around.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great point. Frankly, the cars coming out of Opel the past 6 years or so are on a different level than Chevy. Honestly, I think Opel would do well here (in the US), under GM ownership or not. And I don't mean rebadged and renamed. Standalone Opel dealers that would compete against VW and maybe Acura. And keep the same line-up as the Europeans, hatchbacks and all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Ben Reothing
        and Opels development center in Europe located at the Rüsselsheim Opel´s main plant were 18,000people work...it was GM´s second largest development center world wide...
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's what they get for selling their european market share away.
        • 6 Years Ago
        WTF are U talking about hater???

        The Deal is not done yet... and the suggestion above where GMNA loans GM Europe the money to simply fix Opel after another pre-packaged BK would be the way to go. Hell Saab is still in BK if I remember correctly. Koenigsegg has the letter of intent for a end of year purchase. Nonetheless... after a BK Opel would only need about $2 Billion of financing to come out swingin'.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good for the "New GM". Getting the full backlash of the old GM. It was genuinely stupid to sell off Opel in the first place. Sheesh, they didn't even try with Opel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did they not sell off Opel?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Considering this was not the New (or Old) GM's decision, how is it good for them?
      • 6 Years Ago
      You can buy or trade in both domestic and foreign vehicles so not just the US made cars.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I have to back Walt on this.
      General perception here in Europe is that Opel lost with deal with GM and since some months its coming back on market.
      As for people who says Opel has no engineering capacity,they don't know what they are talking about. they have one of finest in Europe. They would be probably better alone all this years than with GM.
      GM simply doesn't have the same way of thinking as it would be german Opel.
      And we all know how German cars are respected all over the world.
      No,I am not German and I do not have Opel. Just like to tell truth based on facts.
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