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Spyker makes new offer for Saab; GM will evaluate

Spyker makes new offer for Saab; GM will evaluate

Dutch sports car maker says 11-point proposal addresses GM’s concerns

Paul McVeigh
Automotive News | December 20, 2009 – 8:46 am EST


MUNICH — Spyker Cars NV said it had submitted a new offer for General Motors Co.’s Saab two days after GM said the brand would be shut down.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller said an 11-point proposal had been handed to GM addressing each of the issues that arose during due diligence after the Dutch sports car maker originally bid for Saab.

Muller said the new offer would remove the obstacles that were standing in the way of a swift sale of Saab to Spyker.

In a statement released this morning, GM said: "Following Friday’s announcement that GM will begin the orderly wind down of Saab, GM has received inquiries from several parties. We will evaluate each inquiry."

GM said it would not make further comments until the evaluations have been completed.

GM decided to close Saab after the collapse of last-ditch talks to sell the money-losing Swedish brand to Spyker, a small sports car builder.

"We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter, and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer," Muller said in a statement.

Muller said: "We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31."

He said the new offer eliminates the need for a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan approval before the year end, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM’s deadline.

"Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honored to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world," Muller said.

Spyker said its offer is valid until 5 p.m. EST on Monday, Dec. 21.

A Spyker Cars spokesman declined to comment on the financing of the deal or the due diligence issues that arose.

The primary backers of Spyker — which last year sold 43 cars at prices of at least 200,000 euros ($287,800) — include Russian banking tycoon Vladimir Antonov and his Convers Group, which has almost a 30 percent stake in the firm.

Jeroen Willard, an analyst at Dutch brokerage AEK, has said that for Spyker — which has struggled for years — to finance the deal it would likely issue shares to its Russian backers.

Spyker Cars said if a deal could be agreed, Saab would provide it a global distribution network, production facilities and solid engineering, sourcing and R&D, while Saab would receive financial backing to compete as a global brand.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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