Beijing Auto Plans Bid for GM's Opel: Report

Updated from 2:47 a.m. EDT

China's Beijing Automotive plans to present a detailed bid for General Motors' ( GMGMQ) Opel unit in Europe within the next few days, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Canada's Magna International ( MGA) is still seen as the front-runner for Opel, but the bid from Beijing Automotive could complicate matters, the newspaper reports.

Beijing Automotive held discussions with GM last week and is firming up details of an offer, the Journal reports.

GM said it is "working through" issues with Magna, but confirmed it is also discussing proposals from Beijing Automotive and Belgium's RJH International, the Journal notes.

"Both companies offer generally simpler proposals that would still promote long-term success for Opel and the repayment of any government-backed financing, two key goals for all parties," GM said. "The wide interest in Opel will produce, in the end, the best outcome for Opel, GM and European governments providing support to the process."

But the viability of a bid from RHJ was called into question Wednesday after the company posted a fiscal-year loss of 1 billion euros, the Journal reports.

Meanwhile, GM, facing a July 10 government funding cutoff, is calling for quick approval of its bid to sell its "good" parts into a new company and emerge from bankruptcy protection.

A bankruptcy court hearing on the sale enters its third day Thursday.

Harry Wilson, a senior member of President Barack Obama's auto task force, testified Wednesday that the U.S. government won't continue to fund GM's operations if the automaker doesn't get approval to sell its assets to a new company by July 10.

Wilson also said the government expects to eventually sell its 60% stake in the new company, and that an initial public offering of "New GM" shares would occur sometime next year.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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