The head of General Motors Europe told a newspaper he believed Canadian auto parts group Magna was most likely to win a bidding battle for Opel, but that the carmaker could also thrive under the ownership of its U.S. parent.

Magna is the most likely for me because all conditions have been met, the contracts have been negotiated and the financing is in place, Carl-Peter Forster told German daily Die Welt.

But he added: If General Motors can establish worldwide standards while at the same time allowing regional freedom to create cars that work in the given markets, then Opel can thrive under GM.

(Writing by Noah Barkin)