France”s Peugeot-Citroen group buys Germany”s Opel

The French carmaker PSA, which produces Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles, announced Monday that it has agreed with General Motors (GM) of the United States to take over the German manufacturer Opel.

The purchase price for GM’s European operation, which produces the brands Opel and Vauxhall, is 1.3 billion euros (1.06 billion dollars), PSA said in Paris.

In addition to the car-manufacturing operations, PSA also gains a financing company, GM Financial, a joint venture with the bank BNP Paribas, worth 0.9 billion euros.

"We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees," Carlos Tavares, chairman of PSA’s managing board, said in a statement.

"For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum," Mary T Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, said in the same statement.

The two companies announced they were in discussions about a takeover in the middle of February.

Trade unions in Britain have raised concerns about the 4,500 employees who manufacture Vauxhall cars there.

The Unite union held a meeting at the end of last month with worker representatives from the three Vauxhall sites in Britain.

"This union has been working day and night to defend our plants," Unite leader Len McCluskey said after the meeting.

"I personally have met with the highest levels of both General Motors and Peugeot, and the UK government, to make it abundantly clear that UK jobs, plants and communities will not be sacrificed for any sale." (DPA)

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