March 6, 2017 / 1:22 PM / 2 years ago

GM says Opel sale will provide $2 billion for share buybacks

REFILE - CLARIFYING CAPTION. An Opel car parked in front of the car maker's factory is decorated with a sticker showing two cuddling parrots in Ruesselsheim near Frankfurt, Germany March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said the sale of its European Opel and Vauxhall operations will free $2 billion to accelerate planned share repurchases.

GM previously authorized a total of $14 billion in share repurchases and has $8 billion remaining under that plan, Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens told analysts and investors during a conference call on Monday. GM can accelerate those buybacks, in part because it will reduce its target minimum cash balance to $18 billion from $20 billion currently.

Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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