Magna, Sberbank seek all GM assets in Russia, CIS
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
A consortium of Canadian-Austrian auto parts maker Magna, Russian state-controlled Sberbank, and Russian automaker GAZ Group seeks to acquire all of US-based General Motors’ assets in Russia and other countries the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), business daily Vedomosti reported Thursday, citing a representative of Siegfried Wolf, Magna’s co-CEO.
The representative said that assets would be used to form a new auto concern around German automaker Opel, which GM has agreed to sell to the consortium.
Specifically, the consortium plans to receive GM’s 41.6% stake in Tolyatti-based GM-AvtoVAZ and its 25% stake in GM-Uzbekistan to form the concern, which will also include GM’s plant in St. Petersburg. The new concern is expected to use the production facilities of the Avtotor plant in the Russian city of Kaliningrad and plans to handle all Opel and Chevrolet car sales in Russia. The concern is expected to sell 1 million cars per year in Russia, the daily reported. Avtotor currently assembles Chevrolet cars under contracts with GM.
Meanwhile, a GM representative said that the sides had not yet decided what assets would be part of the new concern.
Last week, Magna and Sberbank signed a framework agreement to buy Opel from GM, according to which Sberbank is expected to get a 35% stake in Opel, while Magna will receive a 20% stake. GM will keep 35% in its former subsidiary and Opel employees will hold the remaining 10%. A final agreement on the acquisition is expected to be signed within five weeks, according to Wolf. The consortium said earlier that it would produce Opel cars at GAZ Group’s production facilities in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Representatives of GM-AvtoVAZ and GM Uzbekistan told the daily that no decision about GM’s stakes in the companies had been made yet.
Sberbank and GAZ Group declined to comment on the issue.