Carmaker General Motors should be able to agree on a buyer for its German unit Opel despite failing to make a decision on Friday, Germany's Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was quoted as saying on Saturday.
I regret that the supervisory board was unable to come to a decision, Guttenberg told the online edition of the Hamburger Abendblatt daily. There is still room for an agreement.
Despite strong German pressure to back a bid by Magna International, General Motors Co declined on Friday to name the Canadian automotive firm as the winning bidder for Opel, leaving the fate of the carmaker up in the air.
Two sources familiar with the situation said GM's board had opted to ask for more information from the German government on state financing available to complete a deal.
The federal government and the states have provided GM with all the information which they believe is needed for a decision, Guttenberg told the newspaper.
GM directors asked Berlin what financing would be available to back a rival bid for Opel by Brussels-based financial investor RHJ International, the sources said.
This was a topic at the meeting, said one of them.
The German government, which is barely a month away from a federal election, has offered financial backing for Magna's bid because it believes it would be the best option to save jobs at Opel, which employs around 25,000 in Germany.
Berlin and the German states that host Opel plants have made clear they want Magna to get the carmaker and are set to provide 4.5 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in state aid to make it happen.
The head of Opel's works council, Klaus Franz, said in a statement employees at the firm had run out of patience with GM.
I expressly urge GM to show responsibility and quickly reach an amicable solution with the German government which secures a future for Opel and its employees in Europe, he said.
(Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Keiron Henderson)