Chief negotiator says company does not want to regain Opel control
31 July 2009

General Motors has no interest in buying back Opel and Vauxhall in the future, the company’s lead negotiator has revealed.

RHJ International’s bid for the company’s European operations was understood to be preferred by GM because of an option to regain majority control when it is financially strong enough.

Rival suitor Magna's bid is supported by Russian state bank Sberbank, and would not include such a clause.

However, John Smith, GM group vice-president, said in his online blog, “GM does not seek to reacquire majority control of Opel, from any investor candidate.”

Smith also stated that GM has not specified its preference for a bidder. “This is a complex negotiation and we’re working with highly complex issues," he said. "Both bids being developed bring both opportunities and challenges…both bids vary in how they would be implemented.”

However, he did outline difficulties with the Magna bid, such as negotiations for intellectual property that is co-owned by GM’s partners, and said, “We simply could not execute the deal as submitted."

He added that RHJ’s offer “is completed and would represent a much simpler structure and would be easier to implement”.

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