GM’s Opel took another step towards a possible bankruptcy. Opel sold six European facilities to the American mother , says the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The real estate includes an engine plant in Hungary, a development center in Turin, Italy, a factory in Gliwice, Poland, a transmission plant in Austria, and other “activities” in the UK and Russia, the paper says. The FAZ received a “no comment” from Opel, but no denial. Opel is not rolling in money, despite the sale.
Opel owes GM some 2.5 billion EUR ($3.31 billion) on a note. The note is due end of 2014. Now, the note is extended for another two years, writes the paper. Of course, GM could have put a little more faith into Opel and could have simply extended the loan. Then, money and factories would have been gone during a bankruptcy.
This way, Opel is shedding assets, and the assets go to GM. Only the plants in Germany, the factory in Zaragoza, Spain, and Ellesmere Port, UK, are still owned by Opel. Says the FAZ:
“The transaction could be in preparation for an unlikely, but theoretically not impossible collapse of Opel. In case of an insolvency, GM would retain parts of the most important manufacturing sites in Europe.”
GM took the best parts of Opel. Gliwice is a modern plant, built in 1998. The Rüsselsheim plant is ancient. The Bochum plant was built in 1962, Ellesmere Port in the same year.