Germany’s economics minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg ruled out any attempt by GM to include an option to buy back a controlling majority in Opel as a apart of a deal to give up 50 percent of its German brand in exchange for state aid.
Some General Motors executives were upset about losing control over Opel and were hoping for a deal with Belgian financial investor RHJ International in hopes that GM could one day reacquire control over its former German brand.
“This is incompatible with our views and cannot happen,” said zu Guttenberg, warning that the only ones risking anything here are taxpayers.
“That’s too simple. What good is an offer that is cheap (to the taxpayers) if the return of the money is in question,” he said. “The key will be if a concept is so sustainable that there is a high probability that the interest, fees and the money can be paid back.”
RHJ International, Magna and Beijing Automotive have been in a race to buy Opel. Final binding offers are die today at the close of business in Europe.
– By: Stephen Calogera