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Spyker Buys Saab

Deal saves Swedish brand just as GM began "wind-down."

by on Jan.26, 2010

It appears the new Saab 9-5 has been given a reprieve, as part of a sale to Spyker.

A last-minute reprieve has saved the long-struggling Saab, the Swedish brand parent General Motors was in the process of “winding down.”

The purchaser is the unlikely Dutch luxury sports car manufacturer, Spyker, which sees the acquisition as a way to expand its own global distribution base.

(This story is revised from the original as more details emerged.)

In return for $74 million in cash, and $326 million in preferred stock redeemable after 2013, GM will be free of Saab. (A senior GM officials hinted at a “third component” of the deal, but declined to provide details.)  Meanwhile, Spyker has received a $550 million loan from the European Investment Bank to fund the venture.

Swedish government officials gave their quick sign-off to the deal, which included the providing of guarantees for the EIB deal.  Assuming quick action on the few remaining issues, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, about one year after Saab filed for bankruptcy.

“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, and we’re all happy for the positive outcome,” said John Smith, GM’s vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

Following the sale, the new parent plans to combine its existing operations with those of its new subsidiary to form Saab Spyker Automobiles.  (more…)