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Deal contingent on additional investment, bank loans
General Motors has signed an agreement to sell off its Swedish Saab unit to the Koenigsegg Group. Led by supercar maker Koenigsegg, the group includes several additional investors. The deal will see the Koenigsegg Group take a 100 percent stake in Saab.
In a statement Koenigsegg Group CEO Christian von Koenigsegg said that the group plans to “transform Saab into a stand-alone vibrant entrepreneurial company and make it ‘sustainable’ by making it profitable.”
The deal is still contingent on additional funding, which Koenigsegg plans to raise through government loans and additional investors. According to a report in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, a Koenigsegg Group executive said that the company requires $413.6 million in additional investments. Currently the Swedish government is reviewing a plan to secure a loan from the European Investment Bank.
Both Koenigsegg and General Motors seem to have differing opinions on how long it will take for the funding issue to be solved. Koenigsegg spokeswoman Halldora von Koenigsegg said she expects funding to be secured by in a month, while the less-optimistic GM is reported to have the end of 2009 pegged as a deadline to finalize the sale.
Additional specific terms of the agreement are not known, but it is expected that GM will supply the Koenigsegg Group with resources to assist in developing one additional model. Currently Saab is set to launch its latest model, the 2010 9-5 (pictured above) at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors has officially announced it has reached a tentative deal to sell its Swedish Saab brand to a group of companies lead by Swedish supercar-maker Koenigsegg.
The deal will see the Koenigsegg group receive $600 million in funding from the European Investment Bank, which has been guaranteed by the Swedish government.
GM will provide Saab with platform and powertrain technology for an undisclosed period of time, while Saab is set to begin production of the next generation 9-5 in the near future at its plant 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 Ake Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab.
“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.”
Koenigsegg’s acquisition of Saab is expected to be completed by the third-quarter of this year.