GM: The Opel Decision
(14 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In July 2009, General Motors Company (GM),the world's second largest automotive enterprise, has come out of a bankruptcy orchestrated by the U.S. federal government. Leaner and focused after a 40-day exercise, GM is still a long way from a full-fledged financial recovery. The company is under a mandate to concentrate first on its U.S. market. Its European subsidiary, which manufactures the Opel cars, has been struggling for nearly a decade. The business seems fundamentally sound. Opel requires capital infusion and managerial skills for which GM has been talking to potential investors, such as Fiat of Italy, BAIC of China, Magna of Canada and RHJI of Belgium. The board of GM has to decide whether GM should liquidate Opel, retain it within its fold or go for partial divestiture. In the event of a sale of stake, the board has to decide whom, from among those short-listed by the chief executive officer and his team, it should bring aboard. The case provides an opportunity for students to use available data and their judgment to choose a bidder who can drive shareholder value. It helps them deal with issues such as timing and biases in a typical retain/liquidate/divest decision and also whether a company should have, on the lines of a more common M&A strategy, an ongoing divestiture strategy.
United States;Europe, Medium, 2009
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