GM CEO says possible to sign Opel deal this week

GM CEO says possible to sign Opel deal this week

Shanghai: General Motors Co chief executive Fritz Henderson said on Tuesday that it was possible a deal on the sale of a majority stake in Opel, its European carmaking arm, could come this week.

“It’s quite possible to see documents signed this week," Henderson said.

The comments followed a statement by Opel labour leader Klaus Franz on Monday that he expected GM to sign a contract this week to sell a 55% stake in Opel to a consortium including Canada’s Magna and Russia’s Sberbank.

The two companies have vowed to inject €500 million ($739 million) into Opel, aiming to use it to make an aggressive push into the Russian market, and plan to cut about 10,500 European jobs.

Henderson also told a news conference in Shanghai that it was not on his agenda during his trip to China to talk to Chinese regulators about a deal to sell GM’s Hummer brand to Chinese machinery maker Tengzhong.

GM finalized a deal with Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery last Friday on the sale of its Hummer business, although the deal still faces a number of hurdles including regulatory approvals.

Henderson was also upbeat on the prospects for the Chinese auto market, forecasting it to continue to grow at a significant pace in the future.

GM said last week that its China vehicle sales surged 55.6% in the first nine months of this year from year-earlier levels, surpassing forecasts.