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Update: Four Saab bidders confirmed

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Update: Four Saab bidders confirmed

01/07/2010, 6:32 PMBY ANDREW GANZ

Four bidders for General Motors’ Saab unit have been confirmed as of this evening, which is considered the final “do or die” deadline for the Swedish automaker. In addition to the well-publicized Spyker bid, three private equity firms have made an offer for the brand.

SaabHistory.com says it has received confirmation from four bidders so far, including two American entities. Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker was joined by Wyoming-based Merbanco, Miami-based AWMS and one European outlet, Genii Capital.

Genii Capital/Eccelstone

Genii Capital, a private equity firm that bought a stake in Renault’s Formula One team last month, has ties to Formula One chief Bernie Eccelstone. The Luxembourg-based firm confirmed its intentions for a bid in an interview with Bloomberg.

“It is a true opportunity and we’re surprised that more investors haven’t identified this opportunity,” firm spokesman Lars Carlstroem said. Genii “loves brands and Saab is a strong brand on the same level as Porsche and BMW.”

Genii says that it would use the same business plan as Koenigsegg had planned to use, which sets a 2012 profitability target based on a 105,000 unit annual production schedule. Koenigsegg’s bid failed because it was unable to secure financing, not because of its business plan. It is unclear whether the Genii plan would include a 9-1


GM has said that Merbanco is out of the bidding for Saab, but that apparently didn’t stop the firm, which is led by a self-described “Saab enthusiast,” from making a second offer. No details of Merbanco’s bid are available yet.


According to SaabHistory.com, AWMS made a $400 million cash offer for Saab.

Production possibilities< ?/strong>

Saab has said that it intends to begin production of the all-new 9-5 sedan on Monday, as well as resume production of its 9-3 sedan, although it will ultimately be up to the board as to whether the factory reopens. The automaker’s board has postponed its meeting until tomorrow.

“We have customers who have ordered cars, especially the 9-3” model, Saab board member Haakan Danielsson said. “We have the materials and we’ll just go out and build the cars unless we hear differently.”

Danielsson also serves as head of Saab’s engineering union.



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