GM – Opel News…

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GM’s FastLane blog by John Smith, GM Group Vice President, Corporate Planning and Alliances, “Last week, the Directorate-General for Competition expressed concerns about possible limitations on the availability of government financing for all Opel bidders, and how that may have influenced the selection process.

“The German Government was asked by DG Competition to communicate its position on financing availability to GM and the Opel Trust Board who, in turn, were requested to consider the recommended bidder for Opel accordingly.”

Negotiation of the finer details has been underway since the deal was approved earlier this month, though the agreement did make clear the general shape of the deal: GM will hold on to 35% of Opel, 10% will be reserved for Opel employees, and the Magna-Sberbank group will take the remaining 55%.

When the sale will finally be completed is now unknown. The next milestone in the sale will be a November 3 meeting of the GM Board of Directors to consider changes to the final sale details by German Minister zu Guttenburg.

Once those final details are worked out, and the EU approves the deal–assuming it does–a $6.7 billion aid package for Opel and its new buyers is expected from Germany. Once that’s done, the transfer will be essentially complete.

Despite the sale of a majority stake in Opel, GM still has plans for the brands cars here in the U.S. Saturn had been the primary outlet for re-badged Opels in America, but this week Buick confirmed a redesigned Insignia to be sold as the Regal.

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