BEIJING, July 7 State-owned Beijing Automotive
(BAIC) faces long odds in its bid to buy European carmaker
Opel, as China remains wary of firms taking over foreign
automakers, according to influential Chinese magazine Caijing.
The government's cool attitude toward such outward
investment in the auto industry was the main reason Geely
Automobile Holdings' (0175.HK) interest in Ford Motor's (F.N)
Volvo cars was shot down, said Caijing, citing unnamed sources.
Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp could only get its
foot in the door if the deal between Opel's bankrupt U.S.
parent General Motors GMGMQ.PK and preferred bidder, Canadian
auto parts supplier Magna MGa.TO, were to fall apart
completely, said Caijing on its website (www.caijing.com.cn).
GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster told a Sunday
newspaper that Magna had a "considerable" advantage over rival
suitors for Opel since the two sides only had to clarify
details, adding he was "extremely confident" that a
far-reaching agreement had been reached. [ID:nL6323825]
Magna's board had planned to approve the plan for a
takeover of a 55 percent stake in Opel together with
Kremlin-backed lender Sberbank (SBER.RTS). GM would keep 35
A source familiar with BAIC's bid said the Chinese
automaker was offering to inject 660 million euros ($923
million) in equity for a 51 percent stake in Opel, after
conducting due diligence. GM would hold the remaining 49
percent stake under the bid.
The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that BAIC aimed to
rapidly expand its operations in China if it won the race to
acquire Opel's business in Europe.
In a late bid for GM's European operations, submitted last
week, the Chinese carmaker outlined a plan to spend $2 billion
on what would become Opel's first factory in China, the British
In addition, BAIC is proposing to shut down GM's Belgian
Antwerp plant and cut Opel's workforce across Europe, it said,
quoting several people close to the situation.
Caijing said a crucial BAIC consideration in its bid for
Opel was taking control of its intellectual property.
With Opel's technology, BAIC would be free to build Opel
cars in China, the world's largest auto market and one of its
The China market is also one of the few bright spots for
GM, however, and BAIC's plans to build an Opel plant there
would put it in competition with the U.S. firm.
(Reporting by Kirby Chien and Lincoln Feast)