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Peugeot-Citroen buys Opel-Vauxhall for $1.3-billion

2017-03-06 09:06

PART OF PSA: Opel, the German automaker, has been sold to Peugeot-Citroen. Image: AFP / Frank Rumpenhorst

Paris - French carmaker PSA on Monday announced the acquisition of General Motors' European subsidiary, which includes the Opel and Vauxhall brands, for €1.38-billion.

The move sees PSA regain its position as Europe's second-largest automobile manufacturer, after Germany's Volkswagen, overtaking rival French firm Renault.

Total value €2.2-billion

PSA said in a statement it was also buying GM Europe's financial operations for €900-million in a joint deal with bank BNP Paribas, taking the total value of the deal to €2.2-billion.

The takeover includes six assembly plants and five component-making facilities and some 40 000 employees.

Plans for the takeover of the Opel division by PSA, which owns the Peugeot and Citroen brands, were unveiled in the middle of February, sparking fears in Germany and Britain that the prospective new owner could cut non-French jobs.

"Respecting commitments made by GM"

PSA boss Carlos Tavares said the firm was "deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround".

Tavares said: "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."

More: Peugeot takeover: Opel in crisis for decades

Vauxhall employs around 5000 people in Britain. Opel operates some 10 factories in Europe spread across six countries, and had 35 600 employees at the end of 2015, 18 250 of them in Germany.

Founded in 1862, Opel, with its lightning-bolt emblem, is a familiar sight on European roads, but in recent years the firm has booked repeated losses, costing Detroit-based GM around $15 billion since 2000.

A sharp fall in the pound since Britain's vote to quit the EU last June sank Opel's hopes of getting back into the black in 2016, and it ended up reporting a loss of $257-million.

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