Spyker buys Saab

Posted on 27 Jan 2010 by The Manufacturer

Sports car maker Spyker yesterday confirmed it is to purchase troubled Swedish car company Saab from General Motors.

Under the binding deal, which will keep the Swedish brand alive, GM will receive $74m in cash, paid in two installments, and will retain $326m in redeemable preferred Saab shares.

The first instalment of $50m will be paid on the date of completion of the transaction, expected to take place on or before February 15, 2010 while the second instalment of $24m will be paid on July 15, 2010. According to the Nederlands based Spyker, the preference shares will represent less than 1% of voting rights at Saab.

The deal puts to rest weeks of speculation as to the future of Saab. Formula one CEO Bernie Ecclestone and the Renault team’s new majority shareholder Genii Capital were had also entered the bidding process for the company.

However Genii released a statement on Monday announcing it had terminated its interest in the company due to “the bidding process for Saab [being] incompatible with implementing a solid business platform for the future.”

Shares in Dutch luxury sportscar maker Sypker rose 63% in heavy trade after announcing the deal. The shares are trading four times higher than their year-low in October 2009.

Questions remain over whether the new Saab Spyker Automobiles NV can be profitable, as both businesses have made losses over the past decade.

Spyker, announced plans in November 2009 to move its assembly operation from Holland to Coventry. According to the company, those plans remain unchanged despite the Saab acquisition.

Tim Brown