In a press release on Wednesday, the German photovoltaic manufacturer SolarWorld offered to buy the Opel division from General Motors for $1.25 billion. GM promptly scorned the offer.
Opel makes very efficient cars and trucks. The very existence of Opel technology legitimizes GM’s request for a share of the auto industry’s $25 billion federal loan to cover retooling costs to build smaller, fuel-sipping cars. GM wouldn’t be near bankruptcy today if it had begun two years ago to replicate the Opel tooling in Detroit. Opel is in fact the future of the company, so I can understand why they’d think $1.25 billion is too little.
On the other hand, GM’s stock sold for under $2.80 on Thursday. That’s a market cap of $1.9 billion. If SolarWorld is serious about the automobile business, it could buy a controlling share of GM stock for under $1 billion, put the American divisions into bankruptcy, liquidate most of it but keep enough of the infrastructure to make and sell Opels rebranded as Chevrolets.
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