While General Motors was going through its 42 day bankruptcy period, one of the stories that didn't receive much play was the sale of GM's Opel brand. The major players in the Opel sale appear to be the German government, Canadian supplier Magna and Belgian private investor RHJ International.
The German government was reportedly willing to front 3.4 billion euros toward the deal, as long as Magna was the buyer. Magna has said that it wouldn't close any German factories if it purchased, making the supplier attractive to the German government. But Magna is tied to a Russian company that would receive GM's intellectual property if the sale is made final.
The Daily Mail in the UK is reporting that the General would rather push Opel into insolvency than sell to Magna. When GM went into Chapter 11, Opel was placed in a trust. Now that GM is free of bankruptcy and sales have picked up (slightly) in Europe, the Detroit-based automaker could possibly again own Opel by working through German insolvency laws. To make matters a bit more complicated, Opel's unions are threatening to demand pay raises and bonuses if the company isn't sold to Magna.
The sale of Opel looks like it's becoming more of a mess than originally anticipated. The status of Opel could become clearer by the end of this week, with a Opel on the agenda during a major board meeting at GM today and tomorrow.
[Source: Daily Mail | Image Source: Ralph Orlowski/Getty]