General Motors Does Not Support Sale Of Saab To Chinese Consortium

Posted Dec 6, 2011

“We have reviewed Saab’s proposed changes regarding the sale of the company. Nothing in the proposal changes GM’s position. We are unable to support the transaction,” stated General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) spokesman Jim Cain. Earlier today GM said that they do not support a proposed deal of its former Swedish unit Saab to be sold to a Chinese consortium of companies. What this might mean is that the Saab brand may be faded out completely.

GM licenses technology to Saab that they use for several key models. Two Chinese automaker companies have an interest in buying out Saab whole. Saab said that they are in talks for a revised deal with Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. Ltd. and an unnamed Chinese bank.

“The discussions include a short-term solution to enable Saab Automobile to pay the November wages and continue reorganization. The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain. Any possible transaction would be subject to the approval of the relevant stakeholders,” said Saab in a statement.

Saab is currently reorganizing in Sweden under court protection from creditors and several funding sources have not gone through. The company has only built a few vehicles since last March and their employees have had days where they weren’t given a check on paydays. Saab is struggling to pay their own operational bills as of right now.

Saab’s restructuring administrator Guy Lofalk may end his efforts to save Saab. GM lawyers met with Lofalk and the Swedish ambassador to the U.S., Jonas Hafstrom, last week to discuss ways to save Saab but the meeting did not result in any useful proposals.

Saab agreed to sell themselves for $140 million in exchange for $600 million in funding. GM is Saab’s former parent company but they ended up shedding it during their 2009 bankruptcy restructuring. GM is concerned about the intellectual property that they license to Saab. GM built the 0-4X for Saab in Mexico this year, but did not build any 2012 versions.

[Detroit News]