Investors interested in GM's Opel unit to detail plans

The German government expects more details Wednesday from investors interested in General Motors' Opel unit, and its dealers have moved to help save the European automaker and take a minority stake.

Representatives of the European Opel Dealer Association (Euroda) from 25 countries met last week in Vienna to endorse a plan for dealers to invest up to $680 million. With it they also hope to secure a seat on Opel's supervisory board.

The plan is that, over three years, Opel and Vauxhall dealers would contribute $204 for each new car sold. It was unclear how large the resulting stake might be. Euroda's deputy chairman, Albert Still, said 10% to 15% looks likely, with a realistic maximum at 20%.

Euroda Chairman Jaap Timmer said in a conference call that "we still have to fill in a lot of details" on how the plan might work. If a major investor wants money up front, "we will have to negotiate that."

Italy's Fiat wants to make GM Europe, with Opel, part of a global operation that includes Chrysler. Canadian auto parts maker Magna International has said it is in talks about options for Opel that might include taking a minority stake.

The German government expects both to give more details of their plans by Wednesday.

Opel parent GM faces a June 1 U.S. deadline to restructure or file for bankruptcy. Berlin is keen to save Opel, which employs about 25,000 in Germany.

Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg says Germany is willing to consider temporarily transferring Opel to a trustee, a move meant to help negotiations if at least one investor's plan looks promising and GM has to file for bankruptcy protection. But he has made clear that Opel itself could file for bankruptcy.

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