Proposed Chrysler and Opel deals under scrutiny
5 May 2009

Fiat’s dual bids to partner Chrysler and Opel face crucial tests this week.

A group of dissident Chrysler debtors is trying to block the American company's move into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it breaks financial regulations.

The debtors are angry that they will not recover the money owed to them if Chrysler's restructuring plans - including a tie-in with Fiat - get the go-ahead.

Meanwhile, following talks between Fiat and German government officials yesterday, the Financial Times newspaper has revealed that any takeover of the German company will have strict regulations attached to it.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s vice-chancellor, has reportedly said that Opel’s future owners might have to base the company in the country, as well as outlining 14 criteria that would be used to evaluate any takeover offer.

A Fiat spokesman said that a decision on a future headquarters for the merged group would be "premature", but added: "Opel is a German company, so it needs a headquarters in Germany."

According to GM, as well as Fiat up to six other suitors remain in the running for a stake in Opel/Vauxhall and the rest of GM Europe. Interest has come from Canadian car parts group Magna International, sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi and Singapore, and three private equity groups.

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