April 17, 2009 / 4:27 PM / 10 years ago

Opel, Saab attract a "number" of investors: GM CEO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chief executive of General Motors held out hope to tens of thousands of its European auto workers when he said on Friday the U.S. carmaker could still find investors to keep the Opel and Saab brands alive.

“We’ve reached out to well more than six, actually, people who have expressed an interest (in Opel). These are serious people,” GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson told a conference call with reporters.

“Many of them are financial players, some of them are industrial players. I would expect that work would get done in the next two to three weeks and so that process has kicked off.”

Henderson had less to say regarding Saab but mentioned that investors had the opportunity to get a better idea as to the true state of health of the Swedish carmaker’s operations.

“We have a number of parties who are interested in looking at Saab and our books are open, if you will, in terms of what that business looks like and I don’t really have anything more to report there,” Henderson said.

The GM CEO also clarified recent speculation over whether Opel had gained enough liquidity to stay afloat into July, as reported on Wednesday in German tabloid Bild.

“In terms of liquidity in Europe, our business has performed better than expected actually, which has been helpful. I’ll just talk about scrappage programs in Germany or the success of the Insignia and then our own cost reduction efforts have been pretty vigorous,” he said.

“So the liquidity issues that we saw, that we faced in the second quarter, we now see being later in the second quarter rather than earlier in the second quarter,” Henderson continued.

He added that GM was still in talks with an industrial investor over the purchase of its Strasbourg transmission plant.

Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter

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