Chinese carmaker bids for GM's Opel: reports

BEIJING: Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive Industry Corp. is in the running for General Motors' European unit with a bid worth 660 million euros (922 million dollars), according to reports.

BAIC and GM China were both unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP Sunday.

BAIC submitted a non-binding offer for GM's German-based unit Opel late Thursday, just before a deadline for prospective buyers, according to China's Guangzhou Daily newspaper, the Financial Times and Dow Jones Newswires.

BAIC's offer was said to be worth 660 million euros.

Russian state lender Sberbank is also in the bidding for Opel in partnership with Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna International.

The German government in May announced a rescue plan for Opel in which 35 percent of the firm would go to Sberbank and 20 percent to Magna, but talks have bogged down since.

According to the FT, RHJ International, a Brussels-based industrial holding linked to US buy-out group Ripplewood, has also made a non-binding offer.

Fiat is also interested in Opel, but has pledged no cash for the stake.

The head of GM Europe has said he hopes Opel will be bought by Magna by mid-July, and that the Canadian firm has a "considerable lead" on other possible buyers, a report said Saturday.

"The only thing remaining is for the details to be agreed" between the two businesses, Carl-Peter Forster told Sunday newspaper Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung.