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Opel sale imminent

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Opel sale imminent

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After months of delays, US carmaker General Motors is reportedly very close to signing a deal to sell a majority stake in its European arm to Canadian car parts firm Magna.

The Canadians – along with a Russian state owned bank Sberbank – would buy 55 percent of Opel and Vauxhall. GM will keep just over a third and the workers would own ten percent. But with the signing imminent, talks continue with trade unions over job cuts and details of financing, including 4.5 billion euros of state aid are still being worked out. That money would come from countries where plants are located. Germany has the bulk of them along with half of Opel’s 50,000 workforce. The others are in Britain, Spain, Belgium and Poland. Around Europe, 10,500 jobs will go. At Vauxhall in Britain, 5,000 employees have accepted a pay freeze to try to guarantee their jobs. Some production will be moved from Spanish plants to Germany, but Magna has said it will return later. The European Commission has warned it will crack down if state aid rules are broken.