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Business

Opel-PSA deal entering finishing straight

A deal on French carmaker PSA's takeover of GM's European division seems to be just around the corner. The breakthrough looks set to be officially announced on Monday.

Media reports said that the supervisory council of French automaker PSA had in principle approved the takeover of GM's European arm, that is the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall.

Reuters and the German business daily "Handelsblatt" said the PSA board may convene once more on Monday to resolve any remaining open questions, but suggested that a deal might be announced on the same day ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.

PSA, which owns the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, and Opel/Vauxhall have already shared some technology and production in a joint European alliance.

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PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said a full acquisition of Opel offered an "opportunity to create a European car champion" and quickly exceed 5 million annual car sales.

The French group also expects savings of up to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion) from the tie-up.

Analysts and employees are curious to learn how the negotiating sides settled a number of controversial issues, including job guarantees for Opel and Vauxhall.

Equally important, a deal will have to be presented on the future of a near-$10-billion Opel pensions deficit and demands by GM that the brand be barred from competing overseas under PSA ownership against General Motors' own Chevrolet lineup.

hg/jd (AFP, Reuters, Spiegel)

 

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