German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said in a newspaper interview on Friday that discussions about troubled car maker Opel remained open but that a solution needed to be found fast.


An Opel logo is pictured at a car at Opel dealer in Bochum May 29, 2009. Reuters/Ina Fassbender

The German government last month brokered a preliminary deal with Canadian auto parts supplier Magna (MGa.TO) for a takeover of Opel, the largest European chunk of now-bankrupt U.S. car giant General Motors (GMGMQ.PK).

However, in an interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel, Guttenberg played down the belief among some analysts that Magna and its Russian state-controlled bank partner Sberbank (SBER.RTS) are emerging as the only palatable bidder.

During negotiations of non-legally binding memoranda naturally everything is still open, he said.

He acknowledged the need for a quick solution. Considering the urgent financial situation of the company, a workable solution has to be found in the summer, Guttenberg said.

But there are still issues that need resolving before a deal could be reached, he said.

We still don't have a workable solution. However, the situation is far from hopeless, he told the paper.

Besides the Magna consortium, Chinese car maker BAIC and financial investor Ripplewood (RHJI.BR) remain as potential interested parties in Opel, he added.