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Saab saga: A year of hope and despair

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Saab saga: A year of hope and despair

Automotive News Europe -- January 25, 2010 06:01 CET

Since General Motors Co. said just over a year ago it could no longer afford to keep its money-losing Swedish Saab unit, employees and fans of the iconic 60-year-old brand have gone through 12 months of hope, despair and then fresh hope. Here's a look back at the key events:

• Jan. 11, 2009 -- GM says it has been in talks to sell Saab.

• Jan. 12 -- Sweden says it will not take a stake in Saab or give more aid.

• Feb. 20 -- A Swedish court grants Saab protection from creditors as it tries to find a new partner and raise fresh funds.

• Aug. 18 -- Sweden's Koenigsegg Group AB agrees to terms with GM on a deal to buy Saab.

• Sept. 9 -- Chinese state-run company Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. (BAIC) inks deal to take a minority stake in Koenigsegg as part of the deal to buy Saab.

• Nov. 24 -- Koenigsegg says it has pulled out of talks to buy Saab. Sweden effectively rules out a state bailout.

• Nov. 25 -- BAIC says it is reviewing its options.

• Dec. 1 -- GM board says it will consider offers on the brand until the end of December and will then decide whether to close Saab if it appears the unit cannot be sold.

• Dec. 14 -- BAIC says it has acquired some Saab assets, including intellectual property for the 9-5 and 9-3 model platforms and some production equipment.

• Dec. 18 -- GM says it will start an orderly wind-down of Saab, saying a deal with new suitor Spyker could not be completed in reasonable time.

• Dec. 20 -- Spyker submits a new, fast-track bid for Saab and, separately, GM says it will evaluate several new expressions of interest.

• Dec. 30 -- GM extends a Dec. 31 deadline for bids for Saab, which will restart production lines in January after a shutdown, Saab says. Spyker CEO Victor Muller says GM has extended the deadline for a final offer from the Dutch carmaker until Jan. 7.

• Jan. 4, 2010 -- Spyker says it will submit a final bid for Saab assets.

• Jan. 7, 2010 -- Spyker submits improved bid for Saab. Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital backed by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone also bids for Saab and two Swedish groups make offers.

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