Germany's SolarWorld Springs Surprise Bid for GM's Opel
AFP is reporting (via Yahoo News) that German Solar Power firm SolarWorld has offered to buy Opel for 1b Euros, in hopes of creating Europe’s “first green automotive group.” The offer consists of 250 million euros in cash and 750 million euros in bank credit facilities for Opel’s four auto factories and a key research centre in Ruesselsheim, western Germany. I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourself if this is some kind of twisted joke. “I could not be more serious,” says SolarWorld boss Frank Asbeck. “We would not make this offer otherwise.” Of course there are still strings attached. For example, SolarWorld wants a liquidity guarantee for Opel from the German government. The deal also would require a complete split of Opel from GM, and compensation payments of 40,000 euros per Opel worker, which would approximately equal the one billion euro purchase price. But, as Global Insight analyst Christopher Stuermer points out, “Adam Opel Germany has total assets of around eight billion euros — SolarWorld’s offer is ridiculous.” The consensus appears to be that this will only happen if GM goes under, in which case the German state of Hesse has already pledged 500m Euros. After watching several hours of House Financial Services Committee hearings, this blogger is as convinced as ever that this is an outcome worth betting on.
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