Austro-Canadian car parts maker Magna is now bidding for a major stake in Opel, according to Austrian Times.
Yesterday's edition of German daily Handelsblatt reported Magna Europe chief Siegfried Wolf is to propose a deal to the struggling German car producer and the country’s government later this week under which Magna would take an approximately 50 per cent share in the firm.
But the company, headed by Styrian Frank Stronach who founded it in 1957, will take the stake in a consortium with Russian firm Sberbank.
Stronach said recently Magna wanted only a maximum 20 per cent stake in Opel, a subsidiary of US car giant General Motors (GM).
Neither Opel, Magna nor the German government has commented on the claims.
Magna is currently competing with Italian car producer Fiat in the race for a stake in Opel. But the German government is reportedly lukewarm about the Italian offer after suggestions the company had plans to close some plants in the country.
German Economy Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg is also said to be worried that that Fiat wants to take over collapsed US car maker Chrysler as well.
But all interested parties have said Opel needs a strong partner to survive.
Last week has however brought good news for the Viennese GM plant as the "Powertrain" factory ended part-time work schemes for 400 of its 1,800 workers. Factory chiefs said they decided to do so after registering increasing interest in their products - fuel engines and gear mechanisms for small and compact Opel and Vauxhall vehicles.