Sunday, November 1, 2009

GM will not deny political pressure for Opel sale

General Motors will refuse to recognize that the choice of the buyer for Opel was influenced by political pressure, according to GM sources who reportedly spoke with daily Financial Times Deutschland (FTD).

If GM does admit that Magna and its partner Sberbank were chosen out of purely economic reasons, the sources say that it would expose GM to lawsuits worth billions. Before the European Commission approves the state aid allotted for Opel’s restructuring, it has asked GM and the German government to confirm or deny the allegations. FTD reported that all the participants in the bid for Opel suggested the German government insistently campaigned for Magna and its partner Sberbank. It is widely believed that the pledge to grant additional state aid to GM was based on the condition to choose Magna and Sberbank as buyers. The next GM board meeting will be on November 3 to discuss this matter.