The deadline has passed for potential buyers of Opel and Vauxhall.
The two front runners are the Canadian-Austrian car parts maker Magna and Belgian private equity firm RHJ, though China’s BAIC also submitted a bid. According to one report, Magna – which is backed by Russia’s Sberbank and the Russian vehicle maker GAZ – will walk away from the deal unless it gets the rights to use all of Opel/Vauxhall’s intellectual property, that is such things as car and engine designs, copyrights and patents. The 20 July deadline was imposed by General Motors, which will make the final decision on who gets Opel and Vauxhall, but the German government – which will guarantee loans – has a major say. For political reasons, it prefers Magna’s bid, which involves fewer job cuts in Germany, an important consideration just weeks before a general election.