Koenigsegg CCREnlarge Photo
It's official: General Motors has reached a tentative agreement with Swedish outfit Koenigsegg to sell the Saab brand. So, Saab's probably going home. Cue the Peaches and Herb. Or "Major Tom", if that's your thing.
According to a press release from GM, the high-end sports car manufacturer (along with some Norwegian pals, if Wikipedia is to be believed) will close on the deal sometime prior to October 2009. After the sale, GM will continue "to fund Saab's operations and product program investments" and "to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period". The release doesn't contain too much in the way of details, and notable among the missing items is Saab's price tag. It looks as if the European Investment Bank has pledged $600 million in loans to Koenigsegg to get Saab up and running, but the figure due to GM is nowhere to be found. Surely it'll be forthcoming. Otherwise, GM might just as well have saved themselves the hassle and Craigslisted the damn thing.
Zurich. General Motors Corp. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.
The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab's operations and product program investments. This includes plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development. Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20, 2009. This tentative agreement is a key milestone for Saab to successfully emerge from its reorganization process.
“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group's unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg's proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors."
As part of the proposed transaction, GM will continue to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period. Additionally, Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in the Saab production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden.
“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.
The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to General Motors Corporation.