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GM confirms sale of Opel to Magna Sberbank consortium

RIA Novosti reported that General Motors' board of directors has recommended the sale of ailing German automaker Opel to a consortium of Austrian Canadian Magna and Russia's Sberbank.

The company said "The definitive agreements should be ready to sign within a few weeks with closing to follow within the next few months."

Under the deal the Magna-Sberbank consortium will purchase 55% of Opel, GM will retain a 35% stake and employees will receive a 10% stake. Mr John Smith GM Group vice president of business development said "All parties will work hard to close the deal as soon as possible."

German Chancellor Ms Angela Merkel said earlier in the day that the GM board had decided to sell Opel to Magna in the format discussed and welcomed by the German government.

The German government, Magna International and Sberbank reached an agreement on May 30th for the consortium to take over Opel. Russian truck maker GAZ owned by billionaire Mr Oleg Deripaska is acting as industrial partner in the deal.

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