GM ready to give up control of Opel | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.04.2009
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GM ready to give up control of Opel

US automaker General Motors is ready to sell a stake in its German subsidiary Opel, according to a newspaper report. In return, the company says it wants government guarantees.

Opel car for sale

GM is reportedly ready to sell a major stake in Opel

General Motors has asked six financial and industrial groups to indicate whether they are interested in buying a stake in Opel in the next three weeks, according to a report in Monday's edition of the Financial Times.

GM reportedly does not expect to make a profit on the sale, but would instead invest the proceeds in Opel's operations, according to two unnamed sources interviewed by the newspaper. That could amount to 500 million euros ($652 million), the newspaper said.

In return, GM reportedly wants pledges from Germany and several other European countries for 3.3 billion in loan guarantees to ensure the viability of Opel, the report said. The new unit would have its headquarters in Germany, and GM would retain a minority stake.

Germany has said it will not bail out Opel, but did say the government is prepared to provide loan guarantees to a third-party investor.

Opel has been helped by a German government program, which has offered bonuses to car owners willing to trade in their old junkers for newer, more environmentally-friendly models.

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