General Motors Co. is selling its loss-making European car business — including Germany's Opel and British brand Vauxhall — to French automaker PSA group.
The 2.2 billion euro ($2.33 billion) deal announced Monday in Paris by GM and PSA — maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars — will realign the industry and create Europe's No. 2 automaker after Volkswagen. The combined company could make 5 million cars a year.
PSA will join with French bank BNP Paribas in the deal, which foresees taking over 12 manufacturing facilities that employee about 40,000 people.
Amid concerns about job losses, PSA CEO Carlos Tavares promised to keep existing GM commitments to workers.
The purchase marks a major turnaround for PSA, bailed out just three years ago by Chinese investors and the French state.
"We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees," PSA boss Carlos Tavares said.
Vauxhall employs around 5,000 people in Britain. Opel operates some 10 factories in Europe spread across six countries, and had 35,600 employees at the end of 2015, 18,250 of them in Germany.
Founded in 1862, Opel, with its lightning-bolt emblem, is a familiar sight on European roads, but in recent years the firm has booked repeated losses, costing Detroit-based GM around $15 billion since 2000.
A sharp fall in the pound since Britain's vote to quit the EU last June sank Opel's hopes of getting back into the black in 2016, and it ended up reporting a loss of $257 million.
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