GM said today that it has received a revised ‘draft agreement’ from Magna/Sberbank and will be reviewing it over the next few days.
GM has previously expressed concerns about possible leaks of intellectual property and other issues in the original joint proposal from Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.
However, Magna sources are suggesting that the new proposal deals with outstanding issues and questions. If that is true, significant momentum could now be building behind the Magna bid, which enjoys the support of The German Government and German Opel workers.
In addition to a review at GM, the new proposals from Magna will be looked at by the German automotive task force, as GM has requested from the task force an outline of the financing package that the German Government, and other European Governments, would support.
GM said that when this outline is available, the options for Opel will be discussed with GM’s Board of Directors.
It has also emerged that Opel’s works council head Klaus Franz has rejected a new offer by Belgian investor group RHJ International for Opel.
“When RHJ so drastically lowers its requirements for state guarantees, this can only mean it will give up investments and projects at Opel,” Franz told business daily Handelsblatt.
He added he suspects that RHJ will put at risk the long-term outlook for Opel.
“Not the bargain-price but the long-term prospects of the carmaker are what really count in the discussion,” he added.
He told the newspaper that he still prefers the Magna offer, which the German government continues to give strong backing to.
Handelsblatt noted that RHJ demands EUR1.5bn in state guarantees, half of what Magna requires.
The newspaper also suggested that RHJ plans to improve its offer again.
Some analysts believe that the outcome of the two-horse race between Magna and RHJ for Opel/Vauxhall may have to wait until after the September elections in Germany.