Chinese carmaker SAIC, which bought up the remains of defunct MG Rover, this week began considering investing in a new European company that will take over General Motors' German unit Opel and its British subsidiary Vauxhall, a London newspaper has reported.

Shanghai-based SAIC has requested a sale document from General Motors, the Daily Telegraph said. It added that German banking group Commerzbank was orchestrating the sale process on behalf of GM, which plans to establish a new subsidiary comprising Opel and Vauxhall.

A new investor would be invited to acquire a controlling stake in the company, with GM potentially retaining a minority interest.

According to the report, efforts to sell a stake in the new Opel-Vauxhall company would be complicated by separate negotiations now on with a number of European governments, including in Britain, about state guarantees worth up to EUR3.3bn.

Opel has requested up to EUR3.3bn in loans from European governments and just-auto understands about EUR2.6bn would be earmarked for Opel with the rest for Vauxhall.

However, GM at the beginning of April said it had not approached the British government to discuss a GBP600m (EUR647m; US$859m) aid package for its Vauxhall brand, as the Financial Times newspaper had claimed.

The FT, a senior trade union official, had said Vauxhall's managing director raised the request with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

GM denied it had asked for a UK government loan for Vauxhall as talks regarding GM Europe (GME) needed to be resolved first.

"We've been having top level discussions with BERR about the GME viability plans. But we haven't yet got to the stage of what we need in the UK in terms of support," GM's director of UK communications, Denis Chick, told the news agency then.

"There is no comment," Chick told just-auto today (15 April). "There's a lot of speculation going on at the minute on all sorts of potential bidders.

"We're [GME] are not making any comment."

The Daily Telegraph suggested SAIC's interest would prompt questions from unions about the security of jobs at Vauxhall. It acquired the assets of MG Rover, which collapsed four years ago, when it merged with domestic rival Nanjing.

Nanjing set up a small assembly operation on MG Rover's former site in Longbridge, near Birmingham, building an updated version of the TF roadster. The operation, now called MG Motor UK, is now understood to employ about 200 compared with around 6,000 when MG Rover collapsed.

Geely Automotive, the Chinese automaker which owns a stake in Manganese Bronze, the maker of London's black cabs (and makes them under licence in China for certain markets), has also requested the information from Commerzbank, the Telegraph said.

The paper said the sale would exclude Saab, which GM is attempting to sell separately, and the European sales operations of Chevrolet, which sells vehicles sourced from GM-Daewoo in Korea.

Other interested parties included at least one consortium of private equity firms, the Telegraph added.