Back in 2009, General Motors pulled the plug on a deal that would have taken a 55 percent share of Opel from the German government and given it to Canadian parts manufacturer Magna and Russian bank Sberbank. Not much was known about why GM pulled the plug on the transaction, until some reports were obtained by Wikileaks that cite U.S. diplomatic cables.
The reports say that after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed in ink by the three companies, Magna and Sberbank added on amendments that included the right to sell some of the automaker’s two factories to a carmaker owned by the Russian state. In doing so, it would have allowed the owner of Opel’s factories access to Opel technology and patents. GM felt that the German government didn’t fully understand what was happening and decided to pull out of the deal. Interesting, no?