German government minister reiterates willingness to talk to new bidders
11 June 2009

Magna's bid to buy Vauxhall/Opel has been thrown in to doubt once again, after Germany's economy minister announced that he had reopened the auction process.

At a press conference in Berlin Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Lord Mandelson, the UK's business secretary, warned that they had received only a memorandum of understanding from Magna International and that they were keen to talk to other bidders.

See all the latest Vauxhall reviews, news and video

The German minister added that he was also in talks with an unnamed Chinese investor which had approached him in the past two weeks.

Lord Mandelson said: "It is impossible to predict conclusively if the memorandum of understanding that we have now will translate into final agreement. We hope it will. But, we also have to keep our mind open to alternatives if that memorandum of understanding does not convert into a final agreement. We are agreed on that."

It is not clear whether the claim is merely an attempt to exert pressure on Magna to complete the deal with the minimum of job losses and factory closures, or if other offers really are being seriously entertained. Fiat and Chinese car maker BAIC are said to be considering further bids.

Magna has agreed to pay 700 million Euros (£610 million) for a 55 per cent slice of Vauxhall/Opel and has handed over 300 million Euros (£250 million) of emergency funding to keep GM Europe afloat.

Magna bid to buy GM Europe was conditional on due diligence of both Opel and Vauxhall, which it is reported to have begun this week.

Lord Mandelson was in Berlin to meet with the German economy minister and with Magna. He is reported to have offered Magna state aid in return for job guarantees.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out