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Spyker buys Saab for $74m. Latest news, analysis
26 January 2010 17:48
Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars has agreed to buy Saab from General Motors, GM confirmed on Tuesday evening. Spyker has reportedly paid $74m in cash to GM, while the European Investment Bank is coming up with a €400m loan guaranteed by the Swedish government.
The new company will be called Saab Spyker Automobiles. GM will keep its oar in, in the shape of $326m preferential shares (less than 1% of the voting rights in Saab capital).
The Wall Street Journal reports that Saab has total assets, including plants and technology, totalling around €1 billion, and debts of €528m.
Shares in Spyker were suspended earlier on Tuesday, after speculators sent shares in the Dutch firm soaring on rumours of the deal. Confirmation came at around 6.00pm GMT on 26 January when the binding agreement with GM was announced.
'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,' said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances. '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.'
The sale isn't quite a done deal yet. It's subject to approval from regulators and courts, but is likely to be rubber stamped by mid February 2010 when the EIB loan is granted (subject to sign-off by the Swedish government). But the wind down of the Saab business has been immediately suspended.
What are Spyker's plans for Saab?
Spyker chief executive Victor Muller wants to keep the 'Saabish' qualities of the Swedish car maker, he's revealed in interviews, but his detailed plans have yet to become clear. Now the deal has been publicly announced more clarity should emerge.
Muller owns the Tenaci Capital BV finance house, which is providing a further $50m loan to Saab; as widely reported, Tenaci chairman Russian banker Vladimir Antonov has sold his shares and quit the company as part of the deal.
Spyker seems to be living up to its motto: nulla tenaci invia est via, for the tenacious no road is impassable. An interesting new chapter opens in the history of Saab...
>> Come back to CAR Online for the latest on the Saab story. Click 'Next' to read yesterday's news on the sale