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Spyker prepares announcement to buy Saab from GM, source says

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Spyker prepares announcement to buy Saab from GM, source says

Chrissie Thompson

Automotive News -- January 26, 2010 - 10:16 am ET

DETROIT -- Dutch sports-car maker Spyker Cars NV will announce within an hour its plans to purchase Saab from General Motors Co., a person familiar with the plan said today.

Another person briefed on the situation said a deal is close and is likely to come today.

Spyker is the last bidder standing for Saab, which GM has been trying to sell for more than a year. In late December GM said it would wind down Saab operations, although negotiations continue.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller has said Spyker wants Saab so it can share product development costs, tap Saab's dealer network and cut the cost of making each vehicle. At the Automotive News World Congress this month, he said he believes Saab can be “very, very profitable,” partially by sticking with its own DNA.

Saab's loyal buyers were sometimes frustrated by the way the Swedish automaker's product looked under GM, he said. “People were interested in buying a ‘Saab' Saab, not an ‘Opel' Saab, for instance,” Muller said.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson was not immediately available for comment. Bloomberg News reported earlier that an announcement is likely today.

The investment company Genii Capital said it had withdrawn from the bidding, leaving Spyker as the remaining bidder to rescue the Swedish auto brand.

An effort to sell Saab to Swedish luxury-car maker Koenigsegg fell through in November.

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