GM says will not reopen Opel sale process image

General Motors Co has no intention of reopening the sale process for its European Opel operations and remains intent on reaching a deal with one of the two remaining bidders as quickly as possible.

GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young said the automaker was looking to wrap up the Opel sale as quickly as possible even after improvements in its own financial position removed the immediate threat of bankruptcy for Opel.

“I think everyone is anxious to get this thing done,” Young said on the sidelines of a GM event at its vehicle testing facility outside Detroit.

Canadian auto parts group Magna International is locked in a two-way competition with Belgium-based investor RHJ International to buy Opel in negotiations that have also involved the German government.

Berlin has thrown its support behind Magna’s offer, which is backed by Russia’s Sberbank, on the grounds that it offers better protection for the 25,000 jobs on Opel’s payroll in Germany.

GM has expressed reservations about the Magna deal, saying it wants to make sure that its proprietary technology in Opel is protected in any partnership. Talks between GM and Magna last week failed to produce a deal for Opel.

GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson told Reuters Television in an interview on Tuesday that he did not expect to reopen the Opel sale to any party beyond Magna and RHJ.

“I don’t think so,” Henderson said when asked if a dark horse bidder could emerge for Opel.

Although GM is leading the talks on the Opel sale, the German government is being asked to provide billions of euros in aid to finance the deal.

With a federal election looming next month, the German government is keen to avoid an unpopular takeover and mass layoffs.