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Magna for Opel auto takeover

FRANKFURT, May 21 – Troubled US auto maker General Motors is leaning towards Canadian firm Magna as the preferred candidate for a takeover of its European division Opel, reports said on Thursday.

German magazine Der Spiegel, citing internal GM documents, said in its online edition that the Canadian auto parts maker was favoured for its technological know-how, having helped develop the all-terrain BMW X3 model.

The US daily Detroit News meanwhile cited sources close to the matter as saying that GM preferred Magna to the Italian giant Fiat because Opel employees considered the Canadian firm less likely to close factories.

General Motors Europe on Wednesday said Fiat, Magna and the RHJ International holding company were in the running to take over its Opel unit. The German government said it would choose the preferred suitor early next week.

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