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BAIC makes offer for GM’s Opel

BEIJING – Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive Industry (Holding) Co., Ltd. (BAIC) has submitted an offer to buy Opel, a source close to BAIC told Reuters on May 26. However, the offer seems unlikely to be considered, said GM.

A spokesman for Germany’s Economy Ministry also confirmed to Reuters that BAIC had submitted such a statement of interest.

BAIC made the offer on May 21, one day later than the bidder deadline. Its plan envisions preserving all four Opel plants in Germany for at least two years and foresees no job cuts in the country, said Reuters report, adding the concept called for less than €5 billion in state aid.

BAIC would invest €660 million in equity, according to the report.

Since GM is going smoothly in negotiations with other bidders, Fiat, Ripplewood Holdings LLC and Magna teamed up with Russian carmaker GAZ, BAIC’s plan is probable to be set aside by GM, said local reports.

According to a report on 21st Century Business Herald, the Chinese carmaker is more interested in acquiring Saab, another brand GM is going to sell. The report said BAIC’s chairman Xu Heyi has visited Saab’s plant in Sweden and signed a confidential deal with the automaker.

As the No. 4 automaker in China, BAIC was said to be acquiring or allying with different carmakers, both domestic and overseas. It sold 250,214 vehicles in the first three months of this year, up 16.38 percent year-on-year, according to CBU-Autostas.

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