Fitch Ratings on March 30 revised the Rating Watch to evolving from negative on the BBB-/F3 long- and short-term issuer default ratings of Opel Bank GmbH and GMAC UK Plc and the BBB- long-term issuer default rating of General Motors Financial International B.V. All three are European subsidiaries of General Motors Financial Co. Inc., a unit of General Motors Co.
Earlier in March, General Motors announced the sale of its European operations to PSA Group for about $2.2 billion. The deal also includes an expected sale of Opel Bank, GMAC UK and General Motors Financial International to a joint venture, which is 50% owned by Banque PSA Finance SA and 50% owned by BNP Paribas SA's BNP Paribas Personal Finance SA. The transaction, which is subject to various regulatory approval, is expected to complete by 2017-end.
The Rating Watch revision incorporates additional information obtained by Fitch, with respect to the funding structure of the acquiring joint venture entity and the rating agency's view that BNP Paribas will potentially take a prominent role in operating and supporting the joint venture. Both of these would probably support a ratings upgrade if the deal goes ahead.