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At Least Three Bids Received for GM’s Ailing European Operations

U.S. maker setting no firm timeline to decide on sale.

by on May.20, 2009

At least three bidders are blitzing Opel with takeover bids. It could take General Motors months to decide on a winning offer.

At least three bidders are blitzing Opel with takeover bids. It could take General Motors months to decide on a winning offer.

At least three potential buyers have submitted bids that could lead to their acquiring all, or at least a substantial stake in General Motors’ ailing German subsidiary, Adam Opel GmbH.  Close sources say a fourth bidder may have submitted an offering of its own through the German government before the Wednesday evening deadline.

“The physical receipt of the bids, I can’t confirm,” said GM’s European spokesman Chris Preuss, but another source indicated they’d been handed over in time to meet the deadline.

So far, only one bidder has confirmed its participation in the process.  The Italian automaker Fiat SpA, issued a statement noting it was bidding for both Opel and GM’s British counterpart, Vauxhall.

Other investors believed to be seeking all or part of Opel include the U.S. investment fund, Ripplewood, which has, among its team the former Chrysler Corp. President Tom Stahlkamp.  And the Canadian-based automotive mega-supplier, Magna International, is also bidding, a senior source confirmed to TheDetroitBureau.com.  Who the late bidder might be remains a mystery.

Each of the three “has its advantages and disadvantages,” according to a senior insider.  Fiat has been the most open aggressive bidder and arguably offers the grandest plans for bringing Opel into its fold. (more…)