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GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal

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On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:40PM | By: John Welch

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal

Opel employees were able to breathe a sigh of relief this morning, as it appears GM has agreed to sell a 55% stake in Opel/Vauxhall to Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.

GM had reservations about selling to Magna, not wanting to release intellectual properties to its Russian partner. A deal has been reached, and apparently the patent drawings for the Ecotech engine are safe. German workers and government officials strongly supported take over by Magna because the Canadian firm has pledged to keep all Opel manufacturing plants in Germany open, saving as many German jobs as possible. The other company in the running for Opel, RHJ International, made no such claims. The German government was less then willing to put in the required national funds if these jobs were not secure.

GM released a statement, making it clear that the deal is not final (are they ever?!), stating deals with labor unions and the German Parliament still need to be ironed out.

"This has shown that the patience and single-mindedness of the federal government has paid off," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had uncharacteristically stuck her neck out in favor of Magna, lobbying in both Washington and Moscow.

Hopefully this will bring closure to this facet of New GM's reorganization, and they can get to work turning the G8 into an Impala already . . . (never gonna happen, I know, I know . . )

Source: The New York Times

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