Angela Merkel said in an interview with RTL that she's now planning to intervene personally and support the Canadian parts manufacturer in the negotiations with the German state and General Motors. She will travel to Sochi, Russia on Friday to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and discuss several topics, including the fate of Opel. Russian investors, including state-controlled lender Sberbank, are backing Magna International in its bid for the German brand.
"I have a clear preference for Magna and want to make that clear again," Merkel said according to a report by Reuters. "We are in constant talks. I am always informed. If it is necessary, I will join in, of course."
Even if Merkel showed her support for Magna, RHJ is still favorite in the eyes of General Motors who said, through the voice of John Smith, GM group vice president (and GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of Opel), that the bid coming from the Belgium investor is much simpler and easier to implement.
"The bid from RHJI is completed and would represent a much simpler structure and would be easier to implement. It would require less monetary participation by the government and would keep our global alignments solid, while still creating an independent Opel/Vauxhall organization in Germany. This remains a reasonable and viable option to be considered as the very difficult issues around the Magna negotiations continue to be worked," Smith said.