You European types are all over this already, I know, but for the late sleepers out there…..
German officials held 12 hour talks last night with the bidders for Opel and the end result of this marathon?
One potential owner withdrawing from the talks and quite possibly, the whole sale, and a 300million Euro hole.
Talks aimed at saving General Motors Europe’s Opel unit broke down amid acrimony between Germany and the United States on Thursday as fears mounted for tens of thousands of jobs across Europe.
The marathon negotiations were aimed at finding a suitable buyer for GM’s struggling European operations, with the German government willing to offer billions of euros (US dollars) in loan guarantees to any potential investor.
Two bidders, Italian car giant Fiat and Canadian auto parts maker Magna International remained in the race after a third bidder, Brussels-based investment firm RHJ International pulled out during the talks.
German officials blamed the breakdown on a last-minute request from GM for an extra 300 million euros (415 million US dollars) of funds for Opel, lashing out at General Motors for “scandalous” negotiating tactics.
“We are not amused” would be an understatement….
Speaking to reporters in the early morning, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said: “We were unpleasantly surprised when this new demand came out of the blue at 8:00pm local time (1800GMT). We found that pretty scandalous.”
“GM again confronted us with new figures,” said Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, adding that the US government “could have made more of an effort” with its choice of representative at the discussions.
“We have made a fresh request to the US Treasury and we expect a response before Friday,” he said, calling its input so far “marginal, to put it politely.”
I’m not sure there’s a limit to the number of people GM can annoy during one calendar year, but they’re sure exploring the outer limits.
New talks are scheduled for Friday, after the participants get a chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep, and in the case of the German officials, do some of that pesky running-the-rest-of-the-country stuff.
And for Saab…….?