Well it is now official. French PSA Group has signed a deal to acquire Opel/Vauxhall and GM Financial’s European operations from General Motors in a deal valued at $2.2 billion. PSA has agreed to pay 1.3 billion euro for Opel/Vauxhall and .9 billion euro for GM Financial European operations.
Once finalized, the deal will create Europe’s second largest automaker, with approximately 17 percent market share on the continent. The deal has go to through multiple regulatory approvals, so a full close on it is not expected until the end of 2017.
For GM this marks the end of owning the German automaker for nearly 90 years. It also vindicates the belief that today’s GM is certainly nothing like the GM of the past, who would have never considered selling a business unit that sells over 1 million vehicles a year.
However, decades of operational losses and the lack of a clear plan to profitability yielded opportunity for PSA Group and GM. In fact, GM CEO Mary Barra calls the deal a “win” for both parties.
“For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum,” Barra said earlier in a statement. “We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.”
Meanwhile PSA Group is looking forward to greater economic scale by combining its brands with Opel/Vauxhall. PSA states they are expecting positive operating margins from Opel by 2020, with consistent profitability after that.
Today’s acquisition by PSA Group is the deepening of a strategic alliance formed between PSA Group and Opel back in 2012. At the time, the strategic alliance was simply for purchasing scale and collaboration on certain products between the two.
As the strategic alliance went on, apparently the two parties shifted talks from partnership to acquisition. The two companies then confirmed acquisition talks back in mid-February.
GM, so far, isn’t saying exactly what its plans in Europe will be going forward. The company has confirmed it maintains the ability to sell Cadillac and Chevrolet models in Europe, but the success of those ventures have been substandard in the past.
GM has also confirmed that PSA Group will be producing certain Holden and Buick products for GM in the coming years. Although not directly named, we’re assuming that means the new Holden Commodore and Buick Regal will remain as-planned.