Magna and Sberbank to invest funds to save positions
5 June 2009

Magna International and Russia’s Sberbank are set to give Opel €500m (£440m) to safeguard jobs while the company is restructured abroad.

Sberbank’s CEO Germna Gref said the investment was needed to minimise job cuts during the takeover and restructuring process.

“According to a preliminary plan, we could do with minimal jobs cuts in Germany but would need a bigger restructuring of foreign assets," said Gref.

He also said that Sberbank was unlikely to remain as a long term partner to Opel, and reports suggest the bank could sell up to a Russian car maker once the restructuring process is complete.

The €500m investment will be split between Magna and Sberbank according to their respective stakes in Opel, which are 20 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, Volkswagen has spoken of its concern at Magna’s takeover of Opel, saying that there is likely to be a conflict of interest.

Magna is a key competent supplier to many of Volkswagen’s brands, including Audi and Seat, and it also supplies Porsche, which is Volkswagen’s largest shareholder.

Volkswagen spokesman Michael Brendel said, “Volkswagen will monitor this development very closely. Tax money has been used to a large extent for Opel's rescue. We hope that through this a sustainable and successful result will be achieved effectively”

Mark Tisshaw

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