It looks like the German government is about to announce its list of preferred bidders for Opel this week, and the list is likely to include Fiat and Magna. Why would this list be coming from Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman and not, say, GM? Because the German government will have to step in with financing guarantees when the deal is made.
Fiat's acting like it hasn't eaten in years, hungrily throwing down for the pieces of the business that troubled automakers are trying to spin off. General Motors Europe is seriously contemplating cutting free its Opel unit, and Fiat's Sergio Marchionne has been meeting with management and union higher-ups in Russelsheim about a deal that would see Fiat taking on Chrysler and Opel.
Fiat's bid for worldwide domination of the automotive industry has seen a bit of a snag in Germany, where government officials are said to be balking at the Italian automaker's plan to take over GM's struggling Opel brand. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne sounds confident that his plan is the best way forward for Opel, saying:
General Motors is looking for outside investment into German automaker Opel, and new reports coming out of Europe indicate that two main bidders have separated from the rest of the pack: Fiat, which we've already heard about, and Magna International. Oleg Deripaska, a familiar name to those who follow the auto industry closely, is said to have aligned himself with Magna in an attempt to acquire a 50% stake in Opel.
According to The Detroit News, Guenter Verheugen, the European Union's Industry Commissioner, lashed out at Fiat on Friday in a radio interview, voicing concerns that the Italian automaker is acting irresponsibly to be considering new mergers and acquisitions when the company is already in debt. The public tongue-lashing from the EU official sent Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to the microphones to defend his position, asserting that the commissioner's "comments are not helpful to the ultimate goal
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