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Sweden investigates possible Saab investor pullout (Reuters)

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish government has received information on a possible pullout of investors backing a deal by luxury car maker Koenigsegg to buy Saab Automobile, and is making further checks, a government official said on Friday.

"We have received some information, yes, saying that," said Joran Hagglund, state secretary for Sweden's industry ministry. "We haven't managed to confirm it ourselves with Koenigsegg. We are keen to get this confirmed and are chasing them."

The question arose after a report on Friday in a regional Swedish daily, Goteborgs-Posten, that said the Saab deal was at risk due to investors possibly pulling out.

Hagglund declined to say where the government's information came from or whether it concerned one or more investors. "But there is nothing, as far as we have understood, that would prevent or complicate a deal between Koenigsegg and GM."

Swedish niche sportscar maker Koenigsegg struck an accord in June to buy Saab from General Motors GM.UL, backed by U.S. and Norwegian investors. [iD:nLG827751] The deal is set to close by the end of the third quarter.

Koenigsegg spokeswoman Halldora von Koenigsegg declined to comment on questions regarding investors possibly pulling out.

"Ownership questions are detailed information that I don't have the possibility to comment on today," she said. "What I can say is that our negotiations with GM are proceeding according to plan."

Norwegian entrepreneur Bard Eker, who owns part of Koenigsegg through his holding company Eker Group AS, was not immediately available for comment.

Saab is currently under creditor protection.

The Swedish state is negotiating with Koenigsegg about whether to guarantee a possible European Investment Bank loan that would form part of the financing for the acquisition.

Hagglund said the government remained in the dark on how much Koenigsegg and its financial backers would invest in Saab, and he expected an update "shortly" on Koenigsegg's business plan.

He said the EIB was likely to decide on a possible loan to Saab by end-September.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Simon Jessop)

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Ya know...

I was just thinking to myself earlier today.

GM has essentially managed to hang on to the brands it wanted to hve before the bankruptcy. Rumor is that even if Saab is sold, GM will retain 35% which could easily be increased in the future. Saturn, while not a "GM brand" is contracted from GM to produce cars indefinitely (The initial press release said that GM would continue to build the three remaining models and could build for the division after that) Opel/Vauxhall will likely eventually end up bak at GM.

Before the sh*t hit the fan, GM wanted to sell Hummer and shed Pontiac and it looks as if those to brands are the only ones truly leaving the company at this point.

Granted, all of this could change (since the industry changes overnight now)

I'm cool with GM hanging on to Saab. They have a lot invested in the division and it's truly global, unlike a certain other luxury division that sells a couple thousand cars here in the states and pisses and moans every time it doesn't get it's way

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saab seems to contribute its piece with turbo and four cylinder tech, along with thier own expertise with engineering.

after shedding saturn and pontiac, GM doesn't have a viable brand aside from Chevy that's known for fuel efficient models. when fuel prices eventually hit crisis stage again, well it was nice in the past that GM had 'distinct' models to choose from that offered good efficiency. Buick will have to take on that role moreso.....but if Saab remains, they are a premium brand whose pricing can still remain in reach of the average buyers. after all the defunct 9-2x based at 22k. it'd be cool to see Saab go more premium and become more affordable as its model scope reaches down further into the compact range....even though this would overlap with Buick's range, Saab is very distinct and different.

a gamma corsa based 9-1 might be nice, if it can be made to perform right, and be sophisticated enough. maybe $18k to start off.

Edited by turbo200
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Ya know...

I was just thinking to myself earlier today.

GM has essentially managed to hang on to the brands it wanted to hve before the bankruptcy. Rumor is that even if Saab is sold, GM will retain 35% which could easily be increased in the future. Saturn, while not a "GM brand" is contracted from GM to produce cars indefinitely (The initial press release said that GM would continue to build the three remaining models and could build for the division after that) Opel/Vauxhall will likely eventually end up bak at GM.

Before the sh*t hit the fan, GM wanted to sell Hummer and shed Pontiac and it looks as if those to brands are the only ones truly leaving the company at this point.

Granted, all of this could change (since the industry changes overnight now)

I'm cool with GM hanging on to Saab. They have a lot invested in the division and it's truly global, unlike a certain other luxury division that sells a couple thousand cars here in the states and pisses and moans every time it doesn't get it's way

well they have their bailout money now, soo..........

should be interesting to see if Pontiac makes a magical comeback.......as a niche brand ....LOL

maybe GM promised Koeniggsegg some future tech or cash in return for floating saab until the new 9-4 and 9-5 hit the showrooms........

"this just in, Robert Lutz confirms the G8 and solstice to remain through 2012. alpha based g6 to arrive in 2013...."

Edited by regfootball
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well they have their bailout money now, soo..........

should be interesting to see if Pontiac makes a magical comeback.......as a niche brand ....LOL

maybe GM promised Koeniggsegg some future tech or cash in return for floating saab until the new 9-4 and 9-5 hit the showrooms........

"this just in, Robert Lutz confirms the G8 and solstice to remain through 2012. alpha based g6 to arrive in 2013...."

I still think that in the future GM will bring back limited runs of Old's and Pontiac as their fortunes return andthey buy thier Corp. back. :twocents:

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I'm sure the deal will fall through and Saab will be back at GM, just like Opel will be ... :P

Pay attention. He said it.

Okay the whole Opel deal has not been resolved. The SAAB deal is about to fall through. I knew GM was not going to walk away from their brands. See, the elections are about to happen in Germany in September. They are trying to ride this out. They have the bankruptcy card ready for Europe too. I know what GM's goal is.. they want to hold on to Opel and Vauxhall and other brands. They have basically got rid of the overhead and things that were dragging them down. They want someone to float them and do the dirty work until GM can take it back in full. That is what they were doing with SAAB. They wanted someone to float SAAB until they got back on their feet. RJH if they win Opel was going to sell it back to GM. Magna and the Russians had other plans. The only brands that will still be dead or sold off is Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. I checked on something recently. GM still holds the rights and license to Oldsmobile. They will not sell Pontiac even though someone offered. If you are so bad off, you would think you will sell anything and everything to raise cash. The thing is you can make Pontiac and Oldsmobile go away for a while and reintroduce them at a later date when your other brands are fixed. They know Buick is damaged in the United States. They always say now "We are watching our brands closely". That translates into we are going to relaunch Buick in the United States. It is going to take at least five years to make Buick relevant to buyers into days market. So far the Enclave has been a hit. The 2010 LaCrosse has been getting excellent reviews. It has to translate into sales. Chevrolet is an easy fix because they have new product. Cadillac lost the momentum had gained in 2003. It too has product coming and ready and has to get that momentum back. GMC sells just because. Buick is the problem in North America.

It would be quite easy to integrate SAAB back into GM Europe or sell them in small numbers through Cadillac dealers. If the Buick fix does not work, SAAB could push that kind of product. GM I bet has all sorts of back up plans.

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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I always maintained this and will still maintain - after throwing away a lot of money in giving SAAB an actual portfolio of cars it deserves it would be really stupid of GM to sell the brand. Like it or not SAAB should be with GM as should be Opel, Holden, Daewoo, Pontiac and Buick. All need different focus and some of us fans have to accept that not all brands will serve everything. If we are GM fans then we should substitute for what we had with what GM will offer through other brand.

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I always maintained this and will still maintain - after throwing away a lot of money in giving SAAB an actual portfolio of cars it deserves it would be really stupid of GM to sell the brand. Like it or not SAAB should be with GM as should be Opel, Holden, Daewoo, Pontiac and Buick. All need different focus and some of us fans have to accept that not all brands will serve everything. If we are GM fans then we should substitute for what we had with what GM will offer through other brand.

As long as New GM, unlike Old GM, gives SAAB the freedom to do its thing (and that includes negotiating the use of the MINI platform, if SAAB management thinks its fit for a proper 9-1), then I'm fine with the brand staying with GM.

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