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Beijing Auto shut out from Opel bidding

BEIJING Automotive Industry Holding Co has been excluded from bidding for General Motors Co's Opel unit in Europe after GM yesterday said its talks over Opel's rescue will focus on the consortium of Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc and Russian lender Sberbank and on RHJ International SA, a Belgium-based investor.

In a statement released by GM Europe, the auto maker's chief negotiator John Smith said the company had "agreed to continued detailed talks with Magna and RHJI to secure Opel's future."

His remarks echoed similar views by the German government, which met with Smith the day before on the future of Adam Opel GmbH.

China's Beijing Auto was the third bidder but had failed to make any headway in the recent talks and was not mentioned by GM in its statement.

A Beijing Auto spokesman, who gave only his surname of Chen, said: "We have not received notification from GM," when asked whether the firm was out of the running.

He refused to provide further details, and GM Europe did not immediately say whether the company was now out of the picture.

Meanwhile, German industrial union IG Metall joined in the chorus in favor of Magna's offer, which was also backed by Germany's federal government and the four states where Opel has operations.


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