Third party, RHJ, says it is in advanced talks to buy car maker
13 July 2009

GM’s sale of Vauxhall/Opel has taken another twist after Belgian private equity firm RHJ International claimed it was now in advanced talks to buy the manufacturer.

Despite reportedly submitting a bid for Opel/Vauxhall last month, RHJ was not considered a serious contender for the firm due to its seemingly weak financial position.

However, a RHJ spokesman revealed: “We felt we've reached advanced stages of negotiations, and we feel it is now appropriate to confirm these talks.”

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RHJ joins China's Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. (BAIC) in submitting a new offer for Vauxhall/Opel, although the German government's named preferred bidder Magna remains the favourite to tie up a deal this week.

RHJ’s bid is centred on saving jobs and keeping manufacturing in Europe, whereas BAIC's bid would involve closing a European factory and moving some manufacturing to China.

Both RHJ and BAIC have said they would require 3.8 billion euros (£3.3 billion) in government guarantees if they buy Vauxhall/Opel, which is less than the 4.5 billion Euros (£3.9 billion) Magna has said it needs.

Mark Tisshaw

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