Binding offers for Opel due today

It’s been a long time coming, for all this GM Europe divestiture business. For both Saab and Opel. Who knows if we’ll hear a final announcement with regards to Saab this week, but if the timetable in the news services is correct, we should definitely hear an outcome with regards to Opel.

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International Inc. ( MGA) and Ripplewood, which is behind Belgian investment group RHJ International SA (RHJI.BT), will submit bids for General Motors Corp.’s (GMGMQ) Opel and Vauxhall car brands Monday, the U.K. Business Secretary said.
“We will know today, I believe, that two bidders, Magna International and a Belgium-based company Ripplewood are putting forward bids to share the ownership of General Motors in Europe with the parent company in North America,” Peter Mandelson said on BBC radio.
He said GM would be considering those bids over the following 48 hours and was likely to indicate its preference Wednesday.

I’m not sure why this article from CNN Money doesn’t mention Beijing Automotive, but they’re said to still be in the running, too.
The smart money is on Magna, who enjoy a favourable opinion from both the unions and the German government, both of whom are key to getting this deal done. RHJ are seen as a bidder more likely to try and sell back to GM in a few years, a position which is not viewed positively by the German government:

Germany’s economics minister has ruled out any attempt by General Motors to include an option to buy back majority control of GM Europe, which produces Opel and Vauxhall vehicles, as part of a deal to give up more than 50 per cent of its German subsidiary in exchange for state aid.
“This is incompatible with our views and cannot happen,” Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told German Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview.
Reuters Newsagency says the comments could suggest that Belgian financial investor RHJ International may have problems with its bid if the company is viewed as only a short-term player.

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