GM reportedly expects that the executive team at Opel will remain largely intact after the planned sale of a majority stake this year. However, opinions vary on when the bidding winner will be announced.
Dow Jones reports that John Smith, GM’s lead negotiator with bidders, said the expertise of Opel’s existing leadership would be critical immediately following any deal.
Smith also said he believes it’s possible to reach a binding agreement with one of the two bidders and the German government by the end of August.
Smith added that a deal is likely before German elections in September, and would take around two more weeks to finalize after a binding agreement has been signed.
However, other reports speculate that the deal won’t be done until after the September elections.
The Toronto-based Globe and Mail reported that Belgium’s RHJ International believes the deal will have to wait the outcome of elections.
“We believe we have the offer that makes most commercial sense,” said Arnaud Denis, RHJ’s director of investor relations. “[But] it’s difficult to surmise when this will be decided. There are some people who think this could drag out until after the German election.”
Some observers and analysts have suggested that inevitable job losses will be politically easier to announce after an election. Another politically charged issue is the scale of government financial support for Opel facilities in Germany.