Germany's SolarWorld Springs Surprise Bid for GM's Opel

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Rday Rday on Nov 19, 2008

    I can forsee that the german government will not let Opel and Ford go belly up. They will intervene to take control and protect the worth and jobs of these two companies. The germans didn't get to be the powerhouse in europe by betting on the wrong horse. I would say it may almost be a done deal. Like VW, opel and Ford could be eventually spun off to private 'properly teutonic' owners. And the german goverment will have done its' job by protecting the jobs and plants in its' own country.

  • Tom Tom on Nov 19, 2008

    I think this is a publicity stunt more than anything else...

  • Stingray Stingray on Nov 19, 2008

    Rday... +1... as any government in their right mind would do. The Italians had done before with Fiat... before being "bought" by GM. The Japanese helps their industry The Koreans too. French, Germans, etc... will help theirs. In USA, doesn't matter, they have Toyota and HOnda to cover their car needs. Detroit can go into oblivion. Blah, if USA ends being a 3rd world country, it fully deserves it.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Nov 19, 2008

    This is only the first one out of the gate. I've always thought that GM will get parted out, just not involuntarily. It's the only assets they have left. Look for quite a few more deals from much more substantial companies before long. BTW Robert, why is doubleclick going nutso on this page? The browser is almost having a nervous breakdown!