EU concerns over sale of Opel to Magna to be discussed by GM board

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

The board of General Motors Co. is meeting to discuss an issue raised by EU competition authorities over doubts about the fairness of the bidding process for Opel.

In a radio interview, Opel Trust Chairman Fred Irwin said that the GM board is seeking a "sensible solution" with regards to the concerns mentioned on the letter that had been sent by EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. 

Irwin said that a decision must be arrived at quickly since Opel only had sufficient liquidity to continue operating until mid-January.

He said that the Opel Trust isn't keen on reopening the bidding process due to the complexity of the issue. He said that he expects that the GM board of directors will take the same view.

Kroes wrote to Berlin last week saying that EU internal market and competition rules were violated as the German government made an offer of 4.5 billion euros (6.7 billion dollars) in state aid to support Opel's restructuring only to Magna International Inc. and its partner Sberbank.

The European Commission, however, clarified that it had no plan to block Magna's acquisition of Opel but rather that it intends to ensure that money made available is under conditions acceptable under state aid, internal-market rules, according to commission spokesman Jonathan Todd in a media briefing in Brussels earlier last week.

Topics: opel, magna, gm

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