Holding company RHJ International emerged on Monday as a strong challenger to Magna International in the bidding war for General Motors’ Opel unit.
The Belgium-based industrial holding firm, which is linked to the U.S. buyout company Ripplewood, said it is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in Opel and wants to agree a preliminary deal with GM this week.
Magna has long been seen as the front-runner for Opel and had aimed to sign a deal with GM on July 15, but RHJ thinks it has improved chances of winning the deal as negotiations between GM and Magna have hit snags over intellectual property and other issues.
RHJ waited until Monday to confirm its interest in Opel because only now did it feel it was close enough to its goal to go public, a spokesman said.
Source: Automotive News Europe