GM seeks Opel aid from Spain, UK, Poland: report

DETROIT Wed Sep 2, 2009 5:02pm EDT

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DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.UL expects the governments of Spain, Britain and Poland will provide it with 1 billion euros ($1.43 billion) in aid for its European Opel unit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed person familiar with the sale negotiations on Opel. A GM spokeswoman for Opel could not be immediately reached for comment.

The newspaper said GM could also put more than 1 billion euros of its own money into a restructuring of Opel, quoting the person familiar with the sales talk.

The German government has offered to fund the sale of Opel to a group led by Canadian auto parts group Magna InternationalMGa.TO.

Belgium-based investor RHJ International (RHJI.BR) has a rival bid and this week raised its offer for a 50.1 percent stake in Opel by 25 million euros to 300 million euros in cash. [nL1214401]

GM's board is scheduled to meet next week to discuss the Opel situation.

At a meeting of the GM board last month, directors led by Chairman Ed Whitacre declined to endorse the long-negotiated deal with Magna and told management to gather more information on a range of other possibilities for Opel, including raising funding to keep the unit.

Any decision on an Opel deal will also have to be approved by the German trust that was set up as part of the bridge financing that was given to the automaker.

Expectations have grown in recent days that a final resolution on Opel could be delayed beyond the German elections scheduled for the end of September.

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