Breaking: Saab Sold To Spyker

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

Who would have thought, after the eulogizing and pessimistic reports? GM has just announced that they have reached an agreement to sell Saab to Spyker. GM did not disclose financial details. Reuters asked its “source familiar with the matter.” The source said Spyker would buy Saab for $400m. A paltry $74m is in cash, the rest is deferred shares. The deal is not completely clinched: It is subject to a Swedish government guarantee on a €400m ($564m) loan from the European Investment Bank. Sweden told GM, it is looking into the matter. GM’s press release is after the the jump. Meanwhile, we’ll try to find out what it took to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Or how likely it is to really happen this time. Haven’t we been here before?

GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

2010-01-26

DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we’re all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward. The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time.

The Swedish government is at present reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.

“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

GM did not disclose financial details. Reuters asked its “source familiar with the matter.” The source said Spyker would buy Saab for $400m. A paltry $74m is in cash, the rest is deferred shares.

The deal is not completely clinched: It is subject to a Swedish government guarantee on a €400m ($564m) loan from the European Investment Bank. Sweden told GM, it is looking into the matter.

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

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  • Tparkit Tparkit on Jan 27, 2010

    Try thinking about it like this: - GM did not "sell" Saab. At best, GM gave it away. Most likely: GM partnered with the Swedish government to pay Stryker to take it. - Don't be fooled by the $74 million figure. It's a safe bet GM sugared the balance sheet to convince Stryker that Stryker can come out ahead on this after Saab fails. - No public sector lender would put a wooden nickle into this heap of crap. That's why the Swedish government guarantees were necessary. - Look for continued GM "involvement". Translation: The US taxpayers will funnel money to Stryker via GM investments in what will be presented as a glowing high-tech clean green automotive leader. - Giving Stryker money to "buy" Saab is what is floating this deal. ANY deal for ANY car company or division can be made to work if Washington puts enough cash on the hood. That's why we should never be surprised when Lazarus pops up. He's still dead, but he can be made to walk a short distance to a new grave located on someone else's property. - What's the goal of all this? To allow Government Motors/Washington to avoid the stink of failure and financial loss. I can hardly wait for the spin: free markets are at work, Obama & co believe in the private sector and have begun the process of divesting themselves of an albatros they were forced to rescue out of a sense of duty, and GM is again proving it knows how to play on the world stage.

  • Power6 Power6 on Jan 27, 2010

    Too much romaticizing of SAAB and they aren't even dead yet! Fact is worldwide car production capacity needs to contract and here is a good opportunity. Keeping the lights on another few months without a real plan is not "saving" any jobs. Saab is gone already. The key was put between the seats so the gearshift could be locked instead of the steering wheel. The original SAAB engineers would probably move it to the dash. Nowadays the ignition is still between the seats to make SAAB drivers feel special. Sorry tradition does not make a good replacement for innovation. I just don't see any place for SAAB to go back to the ways that brought them up in the world. It will be hard for them to make it as a bit player. I'd love to see something other than a reskinned GM platform from them though.

  • 28-Cars-Later "Naturally, GM turned to its most tech-forward engineering team to work on the [Cadillac] Northstar: Oldsmobile."The most GM phrase I have seen yet.
  • Carson D The automotive equivalent of necrophilia appeals to people who have no redeeming social value.
  • Funky D These cars appeal to such different clienteles that it is completely comparing apples to oranges. I would go for the Mustang, especially in convertible form, but wouldn't mind at all a weekend behind the wheel of a Z.
  • Funky D Take it from an IT professional: ALWAYS have a backup plan! And then have a backup to that plan if possible. And always rehearse the plan every once in awhile.Always keep local copies of your data, or you don't really have a backup. My current company is working on revising our plan now, while we still have the opportunity.
  • 28-Cars-Later [list=1][*]"Nissan is trying to incorporate elements of past Z Cars to create an automotive amalgam. This includes going back to using a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine. "[/*][*]"Ford has similarly opted to keep around the 5.0-liter V8."[/*][*]"The Ford benefits from having port and direct injection, while the Nissan only uses direct."[/*][/list=1]This isn't even a contest.
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