PSA Group has reached an agreement to purchase Opel from General Motors, according to a report from Reuters.
PSA Group apparently concerned that GM's pension plan for Opel and Vauxhall retirees is underfunded by about $9 billion (U.S).
PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said a full acquisition of Opel offered an "opportunity to create a European vehicle champion" and quickly exceed 5 million annual auto sales. Furthermore, French sources have claimed that the acquisition of Opel can offer the group savings of up to €2 billion (around $2.1 billion). Opel, based near Frankfurt, could in turn serve as a growth driver with potential for expansion beyond its home region, a role that was limited under GM's ownership, Tavares said last week.
Stock for GM was trading at around $38.18 a share today following the report from Reuters, which accounted for an increase of 1%.
PSA signaled to GM that it could not do a deal in which it shouldered the bulk of the pensions deficit, several sources said.
PSA is optimistic that acquiring Opel will save the company about $2.1 billion.
The carmakers have since narrowed the gap on pensions and the so-called "non-compete" agreements sought by GM, the people said, although it remains unclear how or whether they have been resolved. The news service says Opel managers had adjourned until Monday a town hall meeting with its employees Friday, saying they were not ready to discuss details of the proposed sale. GM, on the other hand, is happy to see Opel go after losing the company money for the last 16 consecutive years.
Citing an unnamed source, Reuters says board members for PSA approved the deal today.
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