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.
General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab
- Deal will secure Saab’s future
- EIB expected to provide $600 million financing with state guarantee by the Swedish government
- GM reinvention achieves another milestone
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.
General Motors Corp., one of the world's largest automakers, was founded in 1908, and today manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the U.S., followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. In Europe, GM sells its vehicles in over 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle-production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs about 50,000 people. More information on GM can be found at http://media.gmeurope.com and http://www.gmeurope.com. GM Europe executives blog at http://drivingconversations.com.To support informed discussion and fact-based reporting, GM and Opel & Vauxhall have launched a new website at http://gmeuropefactsandfiction.com.
Koenigsegg Group AB is a consortium of private investors led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Koenigsegg Automotive AB manufactures supercars. It has representatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Oceania. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Ängelholm, Sweden.