GM, Magna to close Opel sale by mid-September: union

FRANKFURT Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:28pm BST

An Opel logo is pictured at the Opel plant in Gliwice, some 350 km (219 miles) south of Warsaw, June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

An Opel logo is pictured at the Opel plant in Gliwice, some 350 km (219 miles) south of Warsaw, June 2, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Motors GMGMQ.PK and Magna MGa.TO hope to close the sale of a majority stake in GM's Opel by the middle of September, ahead of Germany's general elections, an Opel supervisory board member told Reuters on Friday.

"There should be a contract ready by July 15 between GM and Magna...by mid-September there should be a closing," said Rainer Einenkel, the senior labor leader at Opel's Bochum plant.

The comments came following a meeting of Opel's supervisory board, in which Einenkel has a seat along with several other representatives of the carmaker's workforce.

Separately, Fiat (FIA.MI) Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday that he remained interested in a possible acquisition of Opel, since he heard that talks between GM and Magna were "not going very well."

Opel and Magna declined comment.

A source close to the negotiations refuted Marchionne's comments.

"It's accurate to say that there is more than an 80 percent chance for a deal to be reached (between GM and Magna)," the person said.

(Reporting by Angelika Gruber and Christiaan Hetzner)

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