MUNICH -- Opel's future topped of the agenda of a General Motors Co. board meeting Monday evening, Bloomberg news agency reported, saying also that Opel could be forced into bankruptcy if GM and the German government fail to agree on a buyer for the unit.
Over the weekend, German politicians stepped up pressure on GM to accept a bid for Opel from Magna International ahead of a two-day meeting of the U.S. carmaker's new 13-member board.
GM favors an offer for Opel from Belgian investor RHJ International, media reports have said. The German government and the four states that have Opel production plants strongly support Magnas offer.
Roland Koch, the state premier of Hesse, where Opel's headquarters is based, told German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche there would be no German taxpayer money available for RHJ.
Germany has worked hard to make it clear to GM "that there would be no consensus for the financing of an RHJ takeover," he said.
Hesse, along with the other German states with Opel plants, and the German government, provided Opel with billions of euros in financial guarantees to keep the carmaker's operations going when GM it went into bankruptcy in June. They have promised further aid up to 4.5 billion euros.
The Opel Trust, which was set up as an interim owner of Opel and is overseeing talks with the bidders, does not back an offer by Magna, Bloomberg said, citing people close to the trust.
The trust's five-member board favors a bid from Belgian investor RHJ or pushing Opel into insolvency, Bloomberg said.
The trust owns 65 percent of Opel, with GM holding the remaining 35 percent.
Writing on GM Europe's Web site last week, John Smith, GM's chief negotiator for the Opel sale, said Magna's bid "contained elements around intellectual property and our Russian operations that simply could not be implemented."
Smith said RHJ's bid would represent "a much simpler structure and would be easier to implement."
German politicians believe Magnas plan for Opel will save more jobs at the carmakers German factories and give the company a long-term future. They fear RHJ will sell Opel back to GM after carrying out a tough restructuring, largely funded by German taxpayers money.