PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares will meet with government leaders in the UK and France this week to discuss the potential purchase of General Motors Co.'s Opel and Vauxhall brands.
To win support for the takeover, PSA will pledge to maintain Opel's independence, honor existing collective labor agreements and continue to invest in all four of its German sites until at least 2020, Bild am Sonntag reported, citing a confidential meeting between company and government officials. PSA will promise not to carry out forced layoffs until next year, according to the report.
The paper said PSA's General Counsel Olivier Bourges told two deputy ministers and an adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday that Opel would continue as a separate entity within PSA group and that no German sites would be closed.
The takeover deal will likely be signed by March 9, the beginning of the Geneva auto show, the paper said.
Tavares will meet UK Prime Minster Theresa May, as well as French officials including Economy Minister Michel Sapin, Journal du Dimanche reported.
A spokesman for May confirmed on Saturday that a meeting would go ahead, and the business ministry said business minister Greg Clark would attend as well.
In an attempt to protect Opel/Vauxhall's UK car plants from closure, Clark has given PSA post-Brexit commitments similar to those he gave Nissan last year, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing a person with knowledge of the meeting. Clark promised Nissan that he would ensure more car part suppliers were based in Britain, support training and research into electric and low-emission vehicles, and push for "free and unencumbered" access to EU markets for carmakers after Britain leaves the bloc
British and German leaders are trying to prevent job cuts as PSA seeks to acquire GM's European operation, thus giving it a bigger slice of a fiercely competitive market. Both PSA and GM are high-volume, low-margin manufacturers with production in countries with high labor costs and face challenges including tightening pollution standards.
Tavares plans to expand the Opel brand internationally, Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe, reported Saturday. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a letter to his employees on Friday that the company's works council and IG Metall union are closely involved in the potential deal.
PSA will report its earnings for 2016 on Feb. 23.
Reuters contributed to this report