FRANKFURT (Dow Jones) – The Opel countries want to close the financing gap in Opel tradition apparently with his own group guarantee commitments after the Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle federal aid has declined for the automaker. (Photo: Opel)
On Thursday Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia have provided guarantees in higher prospect is now North Rhine-Westphalia ready to fall into the bailout of the countries.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Economy said it was clear that the lack of federal contribution would be offset by higher country contributions. It is still too early to give specific numbers. The WAZ media group had reported that the most populous German state would double its stake to 160 million EUR.
Additional average contribution of the North Rhine-Westphalia will ultimately hang on the Opel’s financial needs, "said the spokesman. Previously, the country with the Opel plant in Bochum, where the Opel car maker employs about 5,000 people, 78 million EUR to contribute to the guarantee context.
The Rhineland-Palatinate Premier Kurt Beck said on Thursday in Berlin, for his state he considered a guarantee of around EUR 100 million possible. Opel would be supported by Germany as requested funds with EUR 1.1 billion was, Rhineland-Palatinate would have to contribute only about 62 million EUR. Thuringia’s Prime Minister Christine Lieberknecht therefore sought guarantees of around EUR 68 million in prospect, more than twice as much as before.
To pay for the rehabilitation of Opel and the planned multi-billion dollar investment in the renewal of the range of products, General Motors had EUR 1.8 billion requested state assistance in the countries of Europe with Opel and Vauxhall sites. Approximately EUR 1.1 billion in the form of loan guarantees should come from Germany, of which the states should press about half. EUR 1.9 billion to the total financing requirements, the Opel chief Reilly on Wednesday was calculated at 3.3 billion EUR wants to contribute the U.S. parent itself.
After the Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle on Wednesday rejected the request made by Opel, was the whole plan collapses. Reilly spoke of a funding gap of 400 million EUR.
Still open is the attitude of Hesse, where the Opel headquarters is based in Rüsselsheim. Singapore should also like the other countries Opel plant with higher contributions go along, the hole could be completely closed in this way. Finally Opel employs at its headquarters in Rüsselsheim, with 15,000 people far more than half of all employees in Germany – and the guarantees will thus be distributed to the states.
The Hessian state chancellery was for an opinion can not be reached first. According to the spokesman of the Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state secretaries of the four provinces with Opel sites will meet on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.
Covered by state guarantees Opel could then get a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). According to the "Business Week" there is a secured loan of EUR 800 million will be sought. An Opel spokesman confirmed the evening before, that is pronounced with the EU banking on support options. The loan amount put into the game he would not comment, however.
The EIB has various funding agencies, including for research and development of environmentally friendly technologies and the automotive production in depressed areas. Many European manufacturers and suppliers are supported by million-dollar loans and guarantees from the EIB.
From the Bund, Opel may well expect even in an application for an EIB loan does not help. Federal Minister of Economics had Brüderle morning signaled a recent rejection of an application for a federal guarantee, should the situation does not change dramatically. The FDP politician is of the opinion that GM can secure the future of Europe’s subsidiary, thanks to the improved business situation, even without government help and warned of serious distortions of competition, Opel receive state aid.
-By Nico Schmidt, Dow Jones Newswires, +49 (0) 69 29 725 104
nico.schmidt @ dowjones.com
(Beate Preuschoff in Berlin contributed to this report.
DJG / ncs / brb / voi