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General Motors Selling Opel Division to Canadian-Russian Consortium

General Motors (GM) has reached an agreement to sell a majority stake of its European Adam Opel GmbH division to a consortium led by Magna International Inc. of Canada and Sberbank of Russia. The company says in a statement that it will sell 55 percent of Opel to the Magna/Sberbank group, with Opel employees holding 10 percent; GM will retain 35 percent. The Associated Press (AP) reports that Magna/Sberbank has agreed to keep Opel's four German plants open and that the sale announcement may have an impact on the German national elections to be held on September 27. The Opel division also includes the British Vauxhall brand, which employs 5,500 workers; AP says discussions will be ongoing between the Magna/Sberbank group and British government officials, as well as officials from other countries where Opel operates. GM acquired the Opel division in 1929. The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal could be finalized within two to three weeks.

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