PSA Group says it is exploring acquisition of GM's Opel

France's PSA Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) wants to acquire General Motor's European operations, but analysts and academics can't raise much enthusiasm for the deal.

A spokesman said on Tuesday that French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen had plans to buy the Opel vehicle brand from General Motors.

GM broke to as high as $37.40 today, less than a buck from its 52-week high of $38.38.

Volkswagen's USA -listed shares edged up 0.5% to 31.88.

PSA Group said in a statement Tuesday that it was exploring "numerous strategic initiatives" that would expand the existing cooperation between the two companies, and that an acquisition of Opel was one of them. Market share for the Opel/Vauxhall brands has dropped from 6.9% in 2014 to 6.3% in 2015 to 6.2% past year.

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But a PSA-Opel consolidation would net annual sales approaching 2.75 million units and more than 14.2% of the market, an overnight gain that puts it fast on the heels of a growth-minded Renault-Nissan and gives PSA greater access to the most profitable markets of Germany and the United Kingdom. PSA controls French brands Citroën, DS and Peugeot and is partially owned by the French government and state-owned Chinese automaker Dongfeng. As a result, GM began the process of divorcing from PSA in late 2013.

If the deal goes through, it could have huge ramifications for the European auto industry and could mean heavy job losses with closures of some the the firms' plants.

In recent years, GM sought to increase its co-operation with Peugeot and Citroen, in an effort to cut manufacturing costs and improve the profitability of both Opel and Vauxhall.

Announcing its full-year results last week, it said GM Europe had narrowed losses to 257 million USA dollars (£206 million) in the year to the end of December, from a loss of 813 million U.S. dollars (£651 million) the year before.

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