Belgian financial investor RHJ wants Opel to break even in 2011 on an operating basis by closing the carmaker's Antwerp plant, idling production in Eisenach and cutting 3,900 jobs in Germany, a newspaper reported.
The Opel suitor plans to resume production at Opel's Eisenach site by 2012 and cut some 9,900 jobs all across Europe as part of its takeover concept for Opel that foresees a net profit by 2012, German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing RHJ's new offer in a preview of a report to be published on Friday.
The race for Opel, a European unit of General Motors GMGMQ.PK, is heating up. Apart from RHJ, Canadian auto parts maker Magna (MGa.TO) is in talks about taking a stake, as is Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive (BAIC).
Several sources familiar with the situation have said BAIC had lost ground to rivals Magna and RHJ.
The four German states with Opel plants have reservations about RHJ taking a stake in the European unit of U.S. carmaker General Motors, the state of Thuringia said on Monday.
Magna is still the best solution, the second-best would be Fiat, Thuringia's economy minister, Juergen Reinholz, told Reuters, adding that he believed a deal with Canadian auto parts group Magna and GM on Opel could be possible this month.
BAIC like RHJ also plans to idle production at the Eisenach site, a plan that would effectively ruin production at the plant, a senior labour leader has said.
RHJ told Handelsblatt that it did not have to offer GM an option to buy back its Opel stake at any time.
An exit or sale of the Opel stake is impossible as long as state aid is not completely repaid, Gerhard Haeusler, chief negotiator for RHJ, told Handelsblatt.
After that, a sale to a third investor or an initial public listing could be an option, he added.
RHJ aims to take a 50.1 percent stake in the new company, while giving 39.9 percent to GM and the remaining 10 percent to employees.
We view ourselves as a strategic investor with a long term horizon, Haeusler told Handelsblatt. (Reporting by Nicola Leske, editing by Matthew Lewis)