EU approves PSA’s acquisition of Opel from General Motors

FILE - In this March 6, 2017 file photo CEO of PSA Carlos Tavares, Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, right, and GM CEO Mary Barra, left, pose for photographers after addressing the media in Paris, France. On Wednesday, July 5, 2017 the European Union has approved French automaker PSA's acquisition of Opel and British brand Vauxhall from General Motors. The EU's executive Commission said it has given unconditional approval to the deal. (AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer, file)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Wednesday approved French automaker PSA’s acquisition of Opel and British brand Vauxhall from General Motors.

The EU’s executive Commission said it has given unconditional approval to the deal. It said it “concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns in the relevant markets.”

After losing money in Europe for years, GM announced in March that it would sell Germany-based Opel and sister brand Vauxhall to PSA in a deal worth 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion).

The acquisition will make PSA the No. 2 European automaker after Germany’s Volkswagen.

PSA strategy director Patrice Lucas described the decision as “an important step” and said that the companies’ teams are now concentrating on fulfilling other conditions necessary to close the deal, expected before the end of the year.

The two companies specified that, while Wednesday’s decision approves the acquisition of the automotive business, EU antitrust authorities are still reviewing the planned acquisition of GM Financial’s European operations by BNP Paribas and PSA.

A decision on that is expected in the year’s second half, they said.

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