Here’s the interesting part about Opel: not only is it an automotive brand, but Adam Opel AG is also a full-fledged legal entity that just happens to be fully owned by General Motors. And as it stands, GM and Opel have reportedly conducted transactions transferring six Opel facilities in Europe to parent General Motors — according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
According to the FAZ report that didn’t cite sources, GM took ownership of Opel’s plant in Hungary, an R&D center in Turin, Italy, a factory in Gliwice, Poland, a transmission plant in Austria, as well as other “activities” in the United Kingdom and Russia. Opel’s supervisory board reportedly approved the sale of the properties to GM on December 13. Opel spokesperson Harald Hamprecht declined to comment to the FAZ on “internal transaction”, but also didn’t deny the deal.
In addition, FAZ reported that Opel owes GM 2.5 billion Euros ($3.31 billion USD) on a note that is due at the end of 2014, adding that the sale of the six assets will reportedly earn the Ruesselsheim-based automaker funding through the end of 2016. Following the transactions, Opel still retains ownership of its factories in Germany, one factory in Zaragoza, Spain, as well as the Ellesmere Port plant in the UK.
“The transaction could be in preparation for an unlikely, but theoretically not impossible collapse of Opel”, writes FAZ. “In case of an insolvency, GM would retain parts of the most important manufacturing sites in Europe.”
The GM Authority Take
We should find out if these rumors are true soon enough… like during GM’s Q4 financial report. January can’t come soon enough!