GM May Conclude Opel Sale with Magna This Week

By Michelle Krebs October 13, 2009

General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson told reporters during his visit to China Tuesday that the Opel logo - 118.JPGautomaker may sign its deal to sell a majority stake in Opel to Magna International and its Russian partner later this week.

Under the agreement, GM will sell a 55 percent stake in Opel to a consortium including Canada's Magna and Russia's Sberbank. The deal has created furor with Opel and Vauxhall unions because of the massive job losses anticipated and the ire of European governments, which are being asked to subsidize the deal.

Talks with European governments are continuing. Magna executives are meeting this week with government authorities in Spain and the United Kingdom, both of which have balked at helping finance the venture, to resolve some issues, mostly involving jobs.

Negotiations with unions also are continuing. An Opel labor leader in Germany said the automaker and the union should sign a new agreement this week.

Throughout this, Opel has been losing market share and burning through cash.

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