Fiat linked to deal to buy Vauxhall and Opel
Friday 24 April 2009
Sources close to GM were last night downplaying claims from a German state minister that Fiat is in the running to buy the beleaguered US car giant's European business.
Hendrik Hering, minister for the economy for Rhineland-Palatinate, confirmed the welter of rumours putting the Italian company alongside Magna International, the Canadian automotive parts group, as the foremost bidders for the business that includes Opel in Germany and Vauxhall in the UK.Several other potential investors are also reportedly looking at GM Europe.
Fiat and GM Europe both declined to comment yesterday, but sources said the speculation should be taken "with a huge pinch of salt".
Fiat's first-quarter results yesterday reported a €360m (£322m) pre-tax loss and net debt of €6.6bn. The Italian company is already in talks with Chrysler, one of the other failing US behemoths, about a potential tie-up. The final terms of the deal are still being negotiated but must be finalised by next Thursday, at which point the US government will either accept a restructuring plan or force Chrysler into bankruptcy.
At Fiat's results conference yesterday, Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive, said the company is committed to the US plan. "Based on what I know today, I see no reason why this should not happen and I can only confirm our unwavering commitment to get this transaction done," he said.
GM is trying to save its core US business by selling off the European operations. The unit's Saab business is being spun out, with the help of the Swedish government, after the company warned in February that it would run out of money within weeks without state help. It has asked for €3.3bn of government aid to help woo potential investors for the rest of the company, in which it would hold only a nominal stake.
Although discussions in Europe focus on Germany, which is home to three of the subsidiary's main manufacturing operations, the UK's Vauxhall marque contributes a quarter of GM Europe's business. Vauxhall employs 3,400 people, the majority of them at the company's Ellesmere Port factory.
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...