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Deal To Save Saab Needs GM's Approval


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Production of Saab automobiles has been stopped for over two weeks, as the struggling automaker scrambles for operating capital to pay supplier--and GM could once again hold the cards in the Swedish carmaker's survival.

Current owner, Spyker Cars, has put together an elaborate deal to raise working cash for Saab. They’ve gotten an investor to back the plan, and have even received a conditional  approval from the European Investment Bank; all that’s missing now is the approval of Saab’s former owner, General Motors, and acceptance of a few other provisions set out by the EIB.

GM, it seems, retained redeemable preference shares in Saab when the company was sold to Spyker Cars. Before anything can progress forward, GM must approve a proposed sale and lease-back plan meant to raise cash for Saab.

Here’s where the story takes a turn for the dramatic: the investor looking to buy the Saab properties and lease them back to Spyker is none other than Russian financier Vladimir Antonov, alleged to have ties to Russian "bad actors." The European Investment Bank isn’t thrilled about entering into a business deal with Antonov, so they’ve now added a list of conditions that will prove difficult to meet. Saab will have just 90 days to repay existing loans, and the EIB is only willing to approve a partial sale of Saab property. The EIB is also requiring formal approval from the aforementioned GM, Saab Automobile, the Swedish National Debt Office and the Swedish government.

The only certain thing is this: the situation remains a long way from being resolved.

[Automotive News]

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Comments (6)
  1. R.I.P. SAAB
     
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  2. I hate to say it, but I'm beginning to think Saab might be circling the drain. It's upsetting because the 9-5 is so spectacular. What bothers me the most is that GM, which basically raped Saab of everything, is still holding the key to somewhat "success".
    I'm still rooting for Saab...I hope they can figure out how to keep production going
     
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  3. What a terrible shame this is. I would love to see SAAB back in the game. If they could only conjure up some crowdfunding arrangement, I would chuck in a few hard-earned shekels to ensure they survive.
     
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  4. The Swedish gov't should take over - otherwise let the business die if they can't make it on their own. I'm sorry but these are not good, frugal, and reliable FWD cars - they're not even good-looking and command a premium that covers cheaply made parts. Even a Russian will understand it unless they're in for a quick buck on the backs of someone else.
     
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  5. Psst GM.......just let Saab die an be done with it. Saab was a great brand until you(GM) took it over.
     
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  6. As hard as it is to imagine an automotive landscape without Saab, it's even harder to imagine a happy ending for this particular story.
     
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