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Opel Bailout, Sale, Threatened by Fiat Boycott

Italian maker, one of three bidders, refusing to attend talks.

by on May.29, 2009

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne boycotts meeting with senior German leaders over the sale of Opel.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne boycotts meeting with senior German leaders over the sale of Opel.

The increasingly complicated effort to save General Motors’ German-based Opel subsidiary ran into yet another snag, today, when Fiat, one of the two remaining bidders hoping to acquire a controlling chunk of Opel, decided to boycott a bailout meeting, in Berlin.

The Italian maker’s move comes barely a day after German government officials ignored their own deadline and refused to complete work on a $2 billion bridge loan package Opel says it needs if it hopes to continue operating long enough to complete a sale.

The Friday meeting was supposed to bring together representatives from the two bidders, Fiat and Canadian mega-supplier Magna International, as well as GM executives and officials from both the German and U.S. governments.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comBut a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel now says such a high-level meeting will only take place if, “those involved … have something substantial to produce, contracts that carry their signatures.”  Without Fiat’s involvement, that appears unlikely. (more…)