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New bidder for GM Europe vows to keep UK plants open

Belgium-based RHJ International believes it can make General Motors Europe profitable by 2011 and has said it wants to keep Vauxhall’s two plants open.

The Financial Times has learned that RHJ is at an advanced stage of talks with GM over a sale.

RHJ is expected to present its final plans to Opel and Vauxhall parent company General Motors before the end of this week.

RHJ is expected to be seeking a 55% stake in GM Europe and is offering to repay all state-backed loans for Opel and Vauxhall by 2015.

The Daily Telegraph has also reported that the preferred bidder for Opel and Vauxhall, the Canadian-Russian Magna International consortium, now only has a 50-50 chance of acquiring the business.

China’s Beijing Automotive is also still pursuing talks to buy GM’s European operations.

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