March 6, 2017 / 3:19 PM / 9 months ago

BUZZ-General Motors Co: To sell Opel to France's PSA

** U.S. automaker’s shares down 1 pct at $37.83

** Shares earlier hit $38.55, their highest intraday level in nearly 2 yrs

** French carmaker PSA Group agrees to buy Opel from GM in a deal valuing the business at $2.3 bln

** GM says sale of its European Opel and Vauxhall operations will free $2 bln to accelerate planned share buybacks

** GM decision to sell Opel doubles down on a bet that it can win by being less global, but more profitable

** Without Opel and Vauxhall, GM last year would have sold about 8.8 mln vehicles -- well behind Volkswagen and Toyota Motor in the race to be the world’s largest automaker by vehicle sales

** Opel and its British Vauxhall unit sold nearly 1.2 mln vehicles in 2016, generating about 11 pct of GM’s revenue

** Up to Friday’s close, GM had risen 23 pct in the past 12 months

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