Report Claims GM Wants $2 Billion For Opel

What’s the selling price for a huge automaker’s entire European operations? $2 billion, apparently — one billion in cash and another billion in gained liabilities.

That’s the valuation that General Motors and PSA Group are discussing as the American automaker attempts to unload its Opel and Vauxhall divisions, Bloomberg reports.

Sources close to the discussions claim an agreement could be reached as soon as next Thursday. That’s when PSA releases its 2016 earnings report.

However, there’s no shortage of sticking points that could sink the deal. The sources claim issues like pension liabilities, brand value and savings potential have yet to be hammered out.

Germany was shocked to learn of GM’s plans earlier this week, with politicians joining Opel’s works council and union in expressing concern — bordering on outrage — over the American company’s failure to consult them. The sources claim that GM will need to walk a financial tightrope. On one side, the price has to be low enough for PSA to shake hands, but there also needs to be cost savings that Germany, Britain and the unions can agree on. A tall order.

Neither country wants to see any if the assembly plants close, nor lose any of its workforce. Three Opel plants are located in Germany, while Britain hosts two Vauxhall plants.

While an acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall by PSA would help the companies seize a greater European market share while sharing technology, some products — and the factories in which they’re built — might not have a long lifespan.

“We are prepared to conduct talks with PSA in the case of an acquisition openly and in a constructive manner and to bring those talks to a conclusion as soon as possible,” said Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, Opel’s top labor representative, said in a statement today.

“Our objective must be to seize the existing opportunities to safeguard employment and sites to create a successful Opel/Vauxhall.”

What the sell-off means for Buick, which relies heavily on Opel for its U.S. lineup, is up for debate. TTAC, of course, has a few ideas.

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