Britain will not back Opel plan: report

LONDON: Britain will not support a restructuring plan by auto parts maker Magna for carmaker Opel in its present form, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The paper quoted Business Secretary Peter Mandelson as saying that the present plan had "shortcomings", adding: "If there are not to be negative consequences for Vauxhall, the plan needs to be redressed in certain ways."

Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers have been brought in to scrutinise the plans separately from a German study, the Telegraph said.

Canadian auto parts maker Magna and its Russian partner, state-owned lender Sberbank, struck a preliminary deal last month to buy a 55-percent stake in Opel from US parent company General Motors.

Britain has 4,700 workers at two plants at Opel's Vauxhall operations.

On Thursday, the German government denied a report in the Handelsblatt business daily that the deal was in jeopardy unless other European countries weighed in with large state aid packages.

The German government had agreed to sweeten the deal with 4.5 billion euros (6.6 billion dollars) worth of state aid.

But this was on the understanding that other European countries where Opel has plants, including Britain, also contribute to the aid.