British business secretary Peter Mandelson has said Britain was closer to agreeing finance package to support Magna's takeover of General Motors operations in Europe.

"Yes I think we are (close to agreement)," he told Reuters. "I had further discussions [Wednesday] evening. I think there are just one or two issues to be resolved between the European governments and Magna."

German chancellor Angela Merkel's government has offered EUR4.5bn (US$6.63bn) in guarantees for Magna's takeover of Opel and Vauxhall and said Germany and other European countries with GM car plants would decide later how to split those guarantees. The British share will be worth about GBP400m (US$657.8m), according to unconfirmed British media reports.

Mandelson said he hoped a deal on the UK share of the financing could be signed in the next few days, but he would not confirm a date or the scale of that financial help.

"It is a matter for subsequent discussion. We will be paying our fair and reasonable whack," he added.

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