Fiat Disconcert by Magna's Offer to Opel

If you had followed the story, you'd know by now that the offer made by Magna to take over German manufacturer Opel is considered better than Fiat's by the Supervisory Board of the company. Board member Armin Schild said that Magna now has the lead in the race against Fiat.

The news has not passed unnoticed by Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne. He told in an interview with The Economist today that he advised the German officials to go for the better offer. Even if not clearly said, the frustration can be felt in Marchionne's statement.

"I'm offering the German government a car business that will be effectively debt-free and I will take on Opel's liabilities, including pensions. I told them: if you have a better offer, take it,", Marchionne was quoted as saying.

Probably for the first time during the past few days, Fiat's CEO publicly said why he wants Opel so bad. The Italian manufacturer will love to have access to the new C and D platforms used by Opel. The goal is to create a new corporate structure which will achieve the convergence of these platforms with those produced by Fiat by 2012.

"We can achieve convergence on all the big platforms by 2012. Ultimately, I need to do this with Chrysler, but Opel gets me there much faster and with more immediate returns," the CEO told the source.

Although full details of the offers presented to the German government are not yet known, Magna seems to have got the upper edge. "Magna wants a financial investment with other investors in a holding company," Armin Schild said in an interview. Fiat, on the other hand, seeks a type of merger which no longer appears to please the Germans.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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