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UK, Magna to Agree on Opel/Vauxhall Aid

The United Kingdom is close to reaching an agreement with Magna International over a financial package for Opel and its British sibling Vauxhall. British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said on Thursday that the two sides are currently involved in deep negotiations and an agreement is expected to be reached in the near future.

"Yes I think we are (close to agreement)," he said according to a report by Reuters. "I had further discussions last evening. I think there are just one or two issues to be resolved between the European governments and Magna. It is a matter for subsequent discussion."

Meanwhile, Magna is still struggling to resolve issues with labor unions across Europe, with more and more rumors now claiming that General Motors might after all keep Opel and start restructuring using government money. GM's board will meet on November 3 to discuss the latest changes in Magna's takeover proposal, with a decision to be announced soon after that.

"Given the significance of the Opel transaction, GM’s Board will soon meet in its regularly monthly meeting (November 3) to consider Minister zu Guttenberg’s letter and changes to the Magna/Sberbank proposal that have occurred since it’s last review on September 9,"
John Smith, GM Group Vice President Corporate Planning and Alliances (and GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of a stake in Opel/Vauxhall), said in a statement last week.

"In the meantime, work will continue to resolve remaining open points with the Magna/Sberbank proposal—for example, related to labor cost reductions and the government-backed financing package — to document the related understandings, and complete all preparations for the signing of binding agreements should that be authorized by GM’s Board at the November 3 meeting."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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