#33 Magna-Opel’s Opus Magnum
Hold the horses! Stop the presses! Forget all about my previous comments about the GM-Opel-Magna-Sbersk deal because the deal is off. GM announced that it withdraws its prior agreement under which the Austro-Canadian conglomerate Magna would have purchased Opel from it. Even insiders are still wild guessing about the true motivation for hitting the brakes. Some say that it’s a matter of GM having emerged from bankruptcy flush with cash and therefore don’t need to get rid of Opel any more. Others suspect a tactical move behind this. What somehow puzzles me is a recent photo showing Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska with Magna International chairman Wolf and GM CEO Henderson in the United States. Deripaska whose automotive company GAZ would have hugely benefitted from the deal has been denied US visas for several years and now has been brought in by special arrangement of the FBI. Word is also that Magna is not really sad about the deal being cancelled fears of jeopardizing good relationships with other customers among the automotive brands kept mounting. What’s interesting is that the GM made the announcement as German chancellor Angela Merkel was about to board a plane back to Germany after an important state visit to the United States. According to German media, this didn’t go down well with the German government which now may be looking into withdrawing commitments for subsidies to Opel.