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Business

Fiat not interested in buying Opel 'for the moment'

Latest update : 2009-04-24

In order to quell rumours of a possible takeover of General Motors' troubled subsidiary, Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne said he is not interested in buying Opel "for the moment", but did not rule out a deal at a later stage.

AFP - The head of Fiat has told trade union leaders he is not interested in buying Opel "for the moment" but could "eventually" look into such a deal, one of the unionists at the meeting told AFP on Friday.

"We met (Fiat chief executive) Sergio Marchionne on Thursday, he denied being interested in Opel for the moment," said Giorgio Airaudo from the Fiom-CGIL trade union.

"The leaders of Fiat are concentrated on the Chrysler deal and Opel, like other possibilities, could eventually come afterwards," he said.

Germany's Der Spiegel magazine on Thursday reported that Fiat could sign as early as next week a letter of intent to take control of Opel, a Germany-based unit of troubled US auto giant General Motors.

Asked about the report on Thursday, Marchionne said: "We have not any direct conversation with Opel.

"If the opportunity arises... we'll give a very hard look, but I don't think we are there today," he added.

Fiat is currently in talks on forming an alliance with US peer Chrysler.

General Motors, which is facing potential bankruptcy and is running short of cash, has said it is ready to cede its controlling stake in Opel. Germany has refused a bailout for Opel and is instead looking for a third-party investor.

Date created : 2009-04-24

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