Opel factory closure will cost more than 550 million euros, report says

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- The closure of General Motors' Opel factory in Bochum, Germany, is set to cost at least 550 million euros ($754.41 million), sources said.

The cost of severance payments and early retirement for the plant's 3,300 employees will amount to around 550 million euros, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The clean-up of the factory site and transferring of tooling to shift manufacturing of the Zafira minivan to Opel's Ruesselsheim factory, also in Germany, will come as "on top" expenses, the sources said.

Opel declined comment.

Opel's senior management has signed off on the 550 million euros restructuring sum, German business paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its Friday edition.

Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann's contract has been extended to March 2018, the paper further said.

Last October, Dan Ammann, now GM president, said the company would incur "significant" restructuring costs for closing Bochum by the end of 2014. Ammann described 2014 as a "transition year" in Europe, in a broader push to bring GM's European operations back to break-even.

The plant closure is part of GM's strategy to achieve profitability in Europe in 2016 after more than a decade of losses in the region.

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