GM to Sell Opel to Canada's Magna

Detroit firm also recommends Vauxhall go to Magna
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 10, 2009 9:30 AM CDT
A Vauxhall dealership sign is seen in front of the General Motors plant in Luton in England, Tuesday, May 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – After painfully drawn-out negotiations, General Motors’ board has agreed to sell its Opel unit to Canadian firm Magna International, maintaining a tie that will keep Opel a "a fully integrated part of GM's global product development organization," the company said. The German government, which earlier this year loaned Opel $2.1 billion, was pushing for the deal.

The board also recommended that its Vauxhall brand, based in the UK, go to Magna. GM is set to sell 55% of Opel to the Canadian company, with workers holding 10% and the Detroit firm hanging onto the remainder. Opel is important to GM because it has been the main source of engineering for the small and mid-sized cars, the Wall Street Journal reports, and is GM's biggest seller in Europe.