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GM, Spyker Said to Meet in Stockholm as Saab Sale Accord Nears

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GM, Spyker Said to Meet in Stockholm as Saab Sale Accord Nears

January 22, 2010, 04:39 PM EST

By Ola Kinnander and Serena Saitto

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. and Spyker Cars NV officials met in Stockholm today to review a potential sale of GM’s Saab unit as the parties near an agreement, according to two people familiar with the matter.

GM considers Spyker’s $500 million offer of cash and preferred shares in the new Saab to be adequate, while the companies negotiate terms including those related to production plans, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. A deal may still fall through, they said.

An agreement, which may be announced as early as next week, hinges on the Swedish government agreeing to guarantee a 400 million-euro ($566 million) loan from the European Investment Bank for the Swedish carmaker, said the people. GM also insists that Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, the chairman and biggest investor in the Zeewolde, Netherlands-based sports-car maker, exit the company, said one of the people.

Saab is among four brands, along with Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer, that the Detroit-based automaker is unloading to focus on Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac in the U.S. after its bankruptcy exit on July 10. Saab’s main factory in Trollhaettan in southwestern Sweden employs about 3,500 workers.

Spyker, led by Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller, has offered GM about $75 million in cash and $325 million in preferred shares in the company that would emerge from the transaction, people familiar with the matter said last week. GM would get $100 million of Saab’s existing liquidity, they have said.

Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesman, declined to comment on the negotiations. Mike Stainton, a Spyker spokesman, declined to comment and said Antonov couldn’t be reached.

Genii Concedes

Other bidders included Genii Capital, the private-equity firm that teamed up with Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone; a group headed by former Swedish deputy Prime Minister Jan Nygren; and a Wyoming-based group led by Merbanco Inc. President Chris Johnston.

“We have worked hard, unfortunately time was not on our side,” Lars Carlstroem, the Swedish investor working with Geniee, said in a phone interview today. “We are pleased to hear about Victor and his attempt to buy Saab. He’ll be a perfect owner for Saab going into the future. Genii is on hold until an official GM statement is released.”

Swedish sports-car maker Koenigsegg Group AB, backed by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., walked away from a deal to buy Saab in November. Beijing Auto later paid $200 million to buy some car technology from Saab to use in its own vehicles.

--With assistance from Adam Ewing in Stockholm. Editors: Jamie Butters, Steve Walsh


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Well wouldn't this be funny. GM manages to unload Saab after all this and Ford stumbles and can't sell Volvo to Geely.

really makes you wonder. volvo was supposed to be golden. but look what happened. the s80 sucked. the c30 doesnt sell in the US. the S60 is old, and expensive crossovers tanked.

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I just hope that this all works out and we see the new 9-5 and 9-4X roaming the streets soon!

x2. i still wonder if its worth SPYKING while the iron is hot on those killer 9-3 deals out there right now.

Edited by regfootball

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