BAIC eyes Opel acquisition – again image

Back in 2009 when GM officialy unveiled that will sell its European division Opel Ag, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) was excluded from bidding. At that time, BAIC was reportedly offering to invest 660 million euros ($938.29 million) for a 51-percent stake in Opel, and was seeking 2.64 billion euros in loan guarantees from the German government. It was also considering producing Opel cars in China.

Now the company is back. The Chinese automaker has apparently intimated to General Motors that it has an interest in acquiring the latter’s Opel division in Europe, as initially reported by German newspaper Die Welt.

According to Reuters, advisers close to BAIC have said that a formal offer has not yet been made. Detroit News reports that Opel has dismissed the reports as ‘pure speculation’.

Possible problems: Patents. Where there is a will, there is a way, as Ford/Geely/Volvo shows. Also, GM China might not be too happy about a stronger BAIC. But the Chinese market is big and has room for many.

BAIC is also rumored to be meddling with any Saab sales to parties that aren’t on BAIC’s birthday list.

Nothing is official yet. Only rumors. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded clarity from General Motors (GM.N) about the future of its European arm Opel, even though European managers said reports of a potential sale were “pure speculation”.