Gm ends bankruptcy and founds new group
Opel parent company General Motors (GM) closed its insolvency proceedings after 40 days. The automaker transferred its profitable business areas to a newly founded GM company, which is majority owned by the administration of US President Barack Obama. The group restructuring should be completed by the end of July, said GM boss Fritz Henderson in Detroit. "Today marks a fresh start for General Motors," he said after signing the contracts. GM must reinvent itself from now on.
Loans to be repaid by 2015
According to Henderson, 60.8 percent of the common stock of the new company belongs to the US government, which GM had provided approximately 60 billion dollars during the restructuring. The company has to repay the government loans by 2015. However, Henderson is aiming for an earlier date.
A health fund for GM retirees run by the UAW union will receive 17.5 percent of the shares in the new auto company, the Canadian state 11.7 percent and the creditors 10 percent. The CEO wants to go public with the new company as soon as it makes sense – possibly in the coming year.
GM relies on fuel-efficient cars
The downsized new group includes the brands Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. It should be strong enough to weather the current crisis on the global auto market. General Motors now has a competitive cost structure and a stronger financial position, Henderson said.
His plan is to bring more fuel efficient models to market and focus on fewer brands, models and fewer dealerships. "We have to put the customer at the center of everything we do," said Henderson.
Magna remains the favorite for the Opel takeover
Several previous subsidiaries no longer belong to the new GM group. The Saturn and Hummer brands were sold. The ailing German manufacturer Opel was legally split off from GM in time for the bankruptcy. The takeover by an investor is planned. The Austrian-Canadian auto supplier Magna has been the favorite so far. However, GM kept a minority stake, stressed Henderson.
The remainder of the previous General Motors Corporation is to be liquidated. Had a few days ago US bankruptcy court approved plans to split up what was once the world’s largest automaker.
Debt reduced significantly
With the restart, the group freed itself from most of the legacy issues. In the bankruptcy process, GM cut its debt by $ 40 billion. Still, in the US alone, there are residual debts of $ 11 billion.
GM filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1st. With assets of approximately $ 83 billion and liabilities of approximately $ 173 billion, it was the third largest bankruptcy in the history of the US economy. Only the "Chapter 11" proceedings of the US bank Lehman Brothers and the telecommunications company Worldcom were even bigger.
The restart of the group marks the preliminary conclusion of the efforts of US President Barack Obama, General Motors and rivals Chrysler to save from extinction. Chrysler has already left bankruptcy protection after the Italian Fiat group got into the US automaker.