German Chancellor Angela Merkel asks GM to clarify reports regarding Opel sale

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 11, 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is asking General Motors Co. to clarify reports that it was thinking of putting Opel up for sale again. Last Friday, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that the chancellor empathizes with Opel workers who are feeling insecure due to rumors like this.

Sources inside GM told Reuters that at this junction, no formal sales process has started for GM’s European arm.

There have also been reports that GM CEO Daniel Akerson is studying options for the European unit because it is frustrated with Opel's inability to become profitable once again.

Last Thursday, German media reported that potential buyers may include Chinese carmakers or Volkswagen but VW is said to be considering other deals too. Seibert divulged that Merkel became annoyed that GM had not moved to deny rumors of a potential sale.

GM had not given any comment to the reports and it also hasn’t been in contact with the chancellor's office or the economy ministry. In 2009, GM withdrew plans to spin off Opel even after it negotiated for several months to sell it.

To put it back on track, it commenced a drastic restructuring for the unit, which posted $1.6 billion in losses last year. Sources have also said that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) had approached GM's management. BAIC was one of the bidders in 2009.

Topics: opel, gm, germany

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