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EU warns Germany over GM takeover

The European Commission has pledged to prevent the planned Magna International and Sberbank takeover of Opel/Vauxhall being framed to close UK plants ahead of those in Germany.

EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said the German offer of €4.5 billion to the new Opel company owned by Magna/Sberbank “must not have strings” and “cannot be subject to additional conditions concerning the location of investments and/or the geographic distribution of restructuring efforts”.

Her comments come amid fears that Germany’s support for the General Motors sale could lead to a restructured company sacrificing plants in Britain and Belgium, while keeping German factories open.

Kroes said the EU would investigate the agreement and to ensure this did not happen and order subsidies be repaid if it does. 

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