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GM Europe bidder increases offer

RHJ Holding, the Belgian conglomerate, has increased its offer by £22 million to €300m (£263m) to purchase General Motors’ Opel and Vauxhall operations.

The new bid means RHJ will take a 50.1% for a controlling stake in GM Europe and it has also reduced the amount of state aid it said it will need to take on the business from $3.8bn to $3.2bn, which it says it can repay by 2013.

The German government has reviewed the revised bid from RHJ and is still backing its preferred suitor, Magna , the Canadian car assembly and parts group.

Steffen Moritz, spokesman for Germany’s economy ministry, said: “The preference for Magna remains even after reviewing this new bid from RHJ.”

Magna has refused to comment on whether it will also be increasing its bid which is already much higher at a proposed €500m (£437m).

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