Peugeot maker to buy Opel in deal valuing GM unit at €2.2bn

PSA purchase will create new regional car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen

The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars pledged to achieve €1.7 billion in cost savings from the acquisition by 2026. Photograh: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars pledged to achieve €1.7 billion in cost savings from the acquisition by 2026. Photograh: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

 

France’s PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at €2.2 billion, creating a new European car giant to challenge market leader Volkswagen.

The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars vowed to return Opel and its British Vauxhall brand to profit, targeting an operating margin of 2 per cent within three years and 6 per cent by 2026 underpinned by €1.7 billion in joint cost savings.

PSA shares jumped as much as 5.2 per cent after chief executive Carlos Tavares said GM’s European arm could be turned around using lessons from the French group’s own recovery. Opel recently recorded its 16th consecutive full-year loss.

“We’re confident that the Opel-Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support,” he said.

Leapfrogs

By acquiring Opel, PSA leapfrogs French rival Renault to become Europe’s second-ranked carmaker by sales, with a 16 percent market share to VW’s 24 percent. The disposal seals GM’s exit from Europe and ends a relationship dating back to the 1920s.

Eight years after coming close to a sale to Canada’s Magna , the Detroit car giant has faced renewed investor pressure to offload the business to raise profitability, rather than chase the global sales crown currently held by VW.

Last year, PSA and GM Europe recorded a combined €72 billion in revenue and 4.3 million vehicle deliveries. GM will receive 1.32 billion euros for the Opel manufacturing business in the form of €650 million in cash and €670 million in PSA share warrants. An additional €900 million euros will be paid by the Paris-based carmaker and BNP Paribas for Opel’s financing arm, to be operated jointly and consolidated by the French bank.

– (Reuters)

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