Opel Watch: Yackety-Yak, Inside Track
Top German government officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hesse leader Roland Koch, are due to meet later on Friday in Berlin to discuss the bids placed for Opel on Wednesday. A decision is not expected before the end of the month. “Running Mouth” Koch couldn’t wait and is already giving odds.
“There is a ranking in which the offer from Magna is closest to the hopes and wishes of many in the German political arena but also the workers,” Koch told the Deutschlandfunk radio station. And the other bidders?
“There is a very interesting bid from a financial investor with the group from Ripplewood.”
“And surely some are disappointed that the Fiat bid is very far from what some had hoped.”
So does anybody have any doubts who Koch favors? According to previous reports, Magna is also the darling of the unions, and the dealers, and GM. Fiat still elicits bad memories at GM, after they had to be paid off to go away. Also, there is the matter of Chrysler.
But wait, there’s a fourth bidder! Bloomberg reports that GM “may get a fourth offer for its Opel and Vauxhall operations in Europe after a Chinese carmaker submitted an expression of interest yesterday.” The letter came a day late, and the German government wans more than an expression of interest, they want actionable plans.
Ah, and there are actually five bids! Again according to Bloomberg, “Fiat’s bid has two parts, including an offer for the Opel and Vauxhall units, and an alternative plan to also buy GM’s operations in Brazil and Argentina.”
Sorry, dear friends down under: Not a dickie bird about Holden.
Opel and Vauxhall may not be making enough money at present to keep the lights on, but the brands have value. Deutschland and GM should be wary of any suitors that don't bring cash to the table - which in this part of the world used to be called an earnest payment.
Glad to know I'm not the only one to get his news from the Funk station.