Fiat, Magna and RHJ lead list of potential buyers
20 May 2009

Potential buyers of Opel and Vauxhall must lodge their bids by the close of today.

At least three serious offers are expected to be made for GM's European arm, from Fiat, Magna and RHJ International, a Brussels-listed car parts holding company.

RHJ’s bid is being taken seriously as it has been endorsed by Klaus Franz, the head of Opel’s powerful works council. He has also welcomed Magna's bid, but is a bitter critic of Fiat, fearing a union would lead to job cuts.

Additional bids from up to three other private equity and sovereign wealth investors were still feasible but not as likely, according to the Financial Times newspaper.

They are expected to have to pay around 650 million Euros (£560 million) - although Fiat has already indicated it will offer its facilities and expertise rather than an outright cash deal.

However, GM has said it will give preference to cash bids for Opel, and Fiat's stance has angered Franz.

“We are in crisis but we still have a value,” Franz said. “Such remarks are bursting with arrogance and disrespect for the employees at Opel.”

GM, which is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US by 1 June, has said it wants to choose a partner for Opel-Vauxhall by the end of May.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer