The German government is reportedly prepared to step in and give auto maker Opel an emergency loan. At the same time, Berlin is said to have rejected the option of becoming a stakeholder in the ailing company.
Could help be at hand for Opel?
The move, according to the Financial Times Deutschland, is prompted by a sense that the clock is ticking for the carmaker, which employs some 26,000 people in Germany.
A loan is favored because it would enable the government to come to the aid of Opel more swiftly, the FTD reported without naming its sources.
Up to now, Berlin has spoken primarily about the possibility of loan guarantees, but they could only be granted after finding banks prepared to raise the necessary capital.
Talk of spin-off from GM
GM is facing an unprecedented crisis
There are also reportedly plans to hive Rüsselsheim-based company Adam Opel off from its beleaguered US parent General Motors. This, however, could take a considerable time and the company is cash-starved.
Opel supervisory board member Armin Schild has estimated the German car maker needs at least 3.3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in cash to survive.
Berlin has told Opel to present a viable restructuring plan if it wants public aid, and that is due to happen on Friday. A demonstration is planned the day before at Opel's factories in Germany and at GM production sites across Europe, bar Swedish Saab.
Officially, the government has still not ruled out any tool that might help save the firm from collapse.
Author: Julie Gregson (afp/ftd)
Editor: Nick Amies