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September 14, 2009

OPEL AFTERMATH: UK calls for state aid ‘respect’

The European Commission should "take a hand" in negotiations the Magna International consortium's negotiations to buy Vauxhall and Adam Opel, to ensure state aid rules are not breached, UK business secretary Peter Mandelson has said.

The European Commission should “take a hand” in negotiations the Magna International consortium’s negotiations to buy Vauxhall and Adam Opel, to ensure state aid rules are not breached, UK business secretary Peter Mandelson has said.

“European Union governments and the European Commission will want to look at business plans to see if state-aid rules are being respected,” Mandelson told BBC radio in an interview.

“It is very important that the commission takes a hand in negotiations,” he said, according to Dow Jones.

Concern over whether the German offer to provide Magna with some EUR4.5bn in guarantees would breach European Union state aid rules could prove a roadblock to the deal.

But a German government spokeswoman insisted, also on Monday, that no rules were being broken and commission approval was expected.

Officials at Mandelson’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills have said the level of UK government support for the 103 year old Vauxhall brand would depend on Magna’s plans for its future.

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