With Saab finally being welcomed by Spyker with open arms, the months-long drama surrounding the beleaguered Swedish brand has finally come to an end.
Naturally, the deal is still subject to the approval of a European Commission regarding the €400 million loan Spyker is seeking from the European Investment Bank but barring any unexpected snags, Spyker’s acquisition of Saab is expected to be finalized anytime soon.
With Saab finally out of GM’s hands, the two protagonists behind the deal – Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile and Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars – sat down and gave their insights regarding final details between the two brands and Saab’s future now that they’re in the hands of Spyker.
As far as we’re concerned, we’re just relieved that Saab has finally freed themselves from the chopping block and now we can look forward knowing that a once-proud car manufacturer has lived to see another day.
After a lengthy back and forth between the American automotive giant General Motors and the Dutch based super car builder Spyker, the pair have finally entered into a binding contract regarding the sale of the Swedish automaker SAAB. According to GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances, John Smith, "Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM.”
So despite GM having to drastically downsize their production lineup around the world due to the recent credit crunch, this agreement means that Viggen fans around the world will be able to look forward to future models for quite some time to come because “General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand” with the newly formed Saab Spyker Automobiles corporation.
While SAABs are born from jets, Spykers are clearly inspired by them and all that is left for the two automakers to do is dot the “i”s cross the “t”s and file the last of the official paperwork in order to complete the transaction, something that is expected for mid February, and while this is good news for auto workers overseas as well as dealers here in the U.S. We can’t help but think about how the move will strengthen both brands, with Spyker adding a line of more affordable vehicles to its current exclusive super car lineup and a plethora of new high performance possibilities for the Swedish automaker, we are mainly looking forward to seeing a production version of the sweet looking SAAB Aero-X concept.
Press release after the jump.
The drama surrounding Saab is not over.
Days after we learned that General Motors has decided to throw the Swedish brand into the guillotine, Spyker has made a last ditch effort to keep Saab from shutting down when it submitted a new 11-point proposal to GM.
Apparently, Spyker has tied together a lot of the loose ends that resulted in the collapse of the initial negotiations done by the niche supercar makers and General Motors.
The company’s new offer was revealed by Spkyer CEO Victor R. Muller, who seems to be optimistic that a deal could take place in the near future.
"We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31st", he said.
At the same time, Spyker has issued a December 21, 5pm EST deadline for their new proposal, something that GM would have to take a serious look at if it still has any hopes in salvaging Saab.
We don’t know how this whole soap opera is going to play out, but we’re still hoping that something gets worked out before the end of the year.
Nobody wants to see an auto brand fade into obscurity, least of all a brand that has given us a lot of premium-quality cars like Saab.
It was just a mater of time! After Koenigsegg aborted its intentions of buying Saab last month, today GM announced that "the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded." GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars, but it seems it was impossible for the two parts to find an agreement.
"We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers."
As a result GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.
Press release after the jump.
We’re about two weeks away from bidding adieu to 2009 and General Motors has an enormously big decision to make before the calendar hits 2-0-1-0.
Sell Saab to Spyker or close it down permanently.
After months and months of negotiations to sell Saab - including a failed Koenigsegg purchase and a successful partial purchase of the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans by BAIC – it’s finally come down to just one bidder: Spyker.
According to GM head honcho Ed Whitacre, a deal with Spyker remains a distinct ‘possibility’, but given the relatively tight time frame – GM plans to close Saab if no deal happens by December 31 – the future of Saab is clearly headed for a down-to-the-wire decision.
Selfishly speaking, we don’t want Saab to suffer the same fate as Pontiac but if we’re being realistic about the whole situation, we don’t know how the Swedish brand can keep its head above water in the event that Spyker – a brand that hasn’t turned in a profit since God-knows-when – does end up buying it.
Either way, it’s going to be a pretty tight and busy holiday season for GM, Saab and Spyker.
Koenigsegg may have dropped the ball with purchasing Saab but at least somebody has stepped up to take the beleaguered car brand out of GM’s hands – at least some of it. Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd has bought the intellectual rights for Saab’s 9-3 and 9-5 sedans, in addition to a number of powertrain technologies.
As part of the new deal, BAIC will be manufacturing the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans in China with Saab supplying invaluable knowledge and resource to BAIC as the company begins to improve its future line-up of cars. According to Jan Åke Jonsson, the managing director of Saab Automobile, the sale of the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans to BAIC is a step in the right direction for both companies. "We have developed a good relationship with BAIC and look forward to working with them to integrate this Saab technology into their future vehicles," he said.
Despite the sale of the 9-3 and 9-5 sedans to BAIC, General Motors is still pushing through with selling the entire brand to a number of potential suitors, the most notable of which has become Spyker.
Koenigsegg’s sudden decision to drop out of purchasing Saab from General Motors has opened the doors for at least four different investment groups to purchase the floundering Swedish brand, which, incidentally, has not posted a profit for the past seven years. One of the potential buyers of Saab is the Dutch supercar manufacturer Spyker, which, together with its parent company, Converse Bank of Russia, has posted a bid to purchase Saab.
Unlike Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co – who only seems interested in Saab’s 9-3 and 9-5 sedans – Spyker is looking at purchasing the whole Saab brand with an eye towards further developing the 9-4X crossover, as well a using Saab’s technology to further develop its own crossover, the D12 Peking-to-Paris.
In addition to Spyker and BAIH, Merbanco Inc. and Renco Group Inc. are also in the running to purchase Saab from General Motors.
Like a shot to the gut from a drunken bud, Koenigsegg’s decision to back out of the Saab sale all caught us off-guard, especially after it looked like the sale was all but a formality.
Then, just like that, the whole deal collapsed.
Now that Saab is back on the market, a lot of folks thought that with no apparent buyer in mind, the future of Saab looked bleaker than most people initially thought.
As it turns out, the Swedish brand may have a few more lifelines up its sleeve. According to Autocar, two investors have come out of the woodwork to express their interest in buying the beleaguered Swedish car brand.
One of these is China’s Beijing Automotive, which, incidentally, is a minority shareholder of Koenigsegg. The other interested buyer is a Wyoming-based merchant bank called Merbanco. If you’ve been following this soap opera for months, you’d know that these two companies were originally part of the bidding wars for Saab, which Koenigsegg won.
Now that it’s dropped out of the picture, Merbanco and the BAIC have stepped up efforts in purchasing Saab, potentially saving it from the chopping block.
Hold on to your nooses, gentlemen. Saab may not be dead after all.
We haven’t reported anything lately on the Saab-Koenigsegg merger, thinking that the deal would be made sooner or later. But now, reports have been pouring that Koenigsegg has done a complete about-face and has decided that it would not be purchasing Saab anymore.
In a statement it made moments after announcing its decision to drop talks with GM (Saab’s parent company), Christian von Koenigsegg said, "We regret that after six months of intense and goal-oriented work we have come to the painful and difficult conclusion that we are not going to be able to carry out the acquisition of Saab Automobile”.
As you can expect, GM took the news rather hardly with a great deal of disappointed. While no tears were shed, GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson didn’t exactly mince his words in explaining the failed Saab transaction. “We’re obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase,” he said. "Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week."
Continued after the jump.
After months of negotiations – including an almost deal-breaking episode – General Motors and Koenigsegg have finally reached an agreement over the transfer of the much-maligned Saab brand from the American auto giant to the Swedish supercar makers. GM confirmed that it had reached a stock purchase agreement, transferring Saab to its compatriot, Koenigsegg. While this is the latest significant step undertaken by both parties, the completion of the deal is still subject to a number of issues, not the least of which is how Koenigegg will go about financing this deal.
While the agreement certainly clears up a few potential stumbling blocks, Joran Hagglund, the Swedish government’s main liaison to the auto industry, remains cautious saying that, "The most decisive factor" is whether Koenigsegg can raise additional capital required.” One of the last remaining hurdles before the completion of this sale is finalized is Saab’s loan request, which is estimated at around 500 million Euros, and whether the Swedish government can commit to granting this loan without making any intention of providing state support to the beleaguered auto brand.
In any event, the final decision on whether Saab gets the loan will be handed out when the EIB reconvenes on September 22. In the mean time, the agreement of transfer between GM and Koenigsegg marks as the biggest step undertaken by both brands in completing this deal as soon as possible.
After a few tense days, the air has finally been cleared and Koenigsegg’s impending purchase of Saab is once again on the table.
The confusion started when one of the owners of Koenigsegg – Mark Bishop – unexpectedly decided to sell his shares in the company, which was estimated to be around 22%. The immediate ramifications of his decision caused a firestorm of controversy surrounding Koenigsegg’s intended purchase of Saab and whether or not it would still push through.
Fortunately, an unnamed investor immediately gobbled up Bishop’s shares and as a result, the negotiations to purchase Saab are back on.
Continued after the jump.
It’s been a few months since we last reported on Koenigsegg’s purchase on Saab, thinking that it was a done deal at that point. Apparently, the sale recently hit a pretty stiff wall when reports coming from Sweden said that one key investor may have gotten wet feet regarding the impending purchase.
We don’t know who this key investor is, but apparently, this news is more than just trivial hearsay. Sweden’s state secretary for the country’s industry ministry, Joran Hagglund, said that his office is vehemently contacting Koenigsegg in an effort to get more information regarding the matter.
The situation has escalated to such a degree that all the parties involved, including Koenigsegg, Saab, and the Swedish government, have brought in their best PR people to douse the flames of what could become a monumental collapse of a deal that seemed to be in-the-books only a few months ago.
Continued after the jump.