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Germany offers Opel loan for choosing favoured suitor

Germany has said it would be willing to give a €4.5bn (£3.9bn) loan to carmaker Opel if its favoured suitor is chosen to take over the firm.

Berlin is offering the money if Opel's US owner, General Motors (GM), sells the German-based business to Canadian car assembly and parts group Magna, reported BBC News.

Magna is one of the two remaining bidders for Opel, the other being Belgian financial group RHJ.

GM has yet to make a decision, but its board is meeting again on Friday.

Germany's deputy economic minister Jochen Homann said the country's federal government, and individual German states with Opel sites, would split the payment of the initial loan.

He added that they would be prepared to do this without waiting for other European countries with GM factories - such as the UK and Belgium - to contribute their own loans.

Opel employs a total of 54,000 workers across Europe, with 25,000 based in Germany.

No UK closures with Magna

Its Vauxhall UK business employs about 5,000 people across its two sites in Luton and Ellesmere Port.

Magna has said that "no immediate plant closures are contemplated" in the UK should its bid be successful.

RHJ is also expected to support saving both Vauxhall factories, but may ask workers to take pay cuts.

Source: BBC News

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