Fiat aims for Opel without boosting debt

Fiat Group SpA aims to take over General Motors Corp.’s main European unit without running up debt in a deal that could require billions of dollars in government loan guarantees, Germany’s economy minister said Monday.

BERLIN — Fiat Group SpA aims to take over General Motors Corp.’s main European unit without running up debt in a deal that could require billions of dollars in government loan guarantees, Germany’s economy minister said Monday.

Fiat’s concept — part of a wider plan to build a global powerhouse also including Chrysler — foresees keeping the Opel brand and the unit’s three assembly plants in Germany, Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said after meeting Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. However, he said there would be a “need for consolidation” and made clear that the future of an engine plant in Kaiserslautern, Germany would be in doubt.

Asked what the plan might mean overall in terms of job losses or plant closures, Guttenberg said Marchionne “hasn’t offered any specific numbers yet, but he described them as not being too dramatic.”

GM has been trying to find investors for noncore and unprofitable assets to help stave off collapse.

On Monday, GM chief executive Fritz Henderson confirmed that the company is negotiating with Fiat about its European operations and said the talks mainly are focused on the Opel and Vauxhall brands.

“We are talking to them, amongst other parties. Not solely Fiat, but several parties who have an interest in making investment in our European business,” he said.

Canada’s largest auto parts company, Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG.A) also confirmed Monday it is preparing a rival bid for the Opel unit and is in talks with the German company, General Motors and German government officials on a transaction that could see Magna take a minority stake in the company.

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Quebec culture minister scolds Netflix over Lac-Megantic footage in ‘Bird Box’

MONTREAL — Quebec’s culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix’s CEO… Continue reading

Canadians across the country march to end violence against women

Women and their allies participated in marches across Canada on Saturday, from… Continue reading

Former Olympian Humphries files harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada

CALGARY — The national governing body for bobsleigh and skeleton has confirmed… Continue reading

Fire next door to B.C. pipeline fuel tank facility under control

BURNABY, B.C. — A fire just a few hundred metres from the… Continue reading

Why some elected Wet’suwet’en councils signed agreements with Coastal GasLink

SMITHERS, B.C. — It was a difficult decision to sign a benefit… Continue reading

Most Read