Spyker Saves Saab From Shutdown
Spyker has pulled off the last-minute deal, successfully buying Saab from General Motors for USD 74 million (RM 254 million) in cash and USD 326 million (RM 1.12 billion) in preferred shares. The deal is, however, subject to the approval of a €400 million (RM 1.93 billion) loan from the European Investment Bank, although that is no more than formality given that the Swedish government has agreed to guarantee the loan amount.
As part of the deal, the new company will be named Saab Spyker Automobiles. Spyker's chairman, Russian banker Vladimir Antonov, had to exit the company under the deal, selling his shares to Spyker CEO Victor Muller. GM demanded that to prevent Saab's car technology from being leaked to the Russian car industry.
“We are very much looking forward to being part of the next chapter in Saab's history. The next task is for Saab to become profitable in its own right, and that's not an easy task. But it is one that I think can be achieved”, said Muller.
Founded in 1999 and with 133 employees, Spyker carried out an impressive feat in taking over the much larger Saab, a company which started selling cars since 1947 and now has 3400 employees worldwide.
Expected to be completed by mid-February, the deal means the all-new Saab 9-5 and 9-4X crossover SUV will continue production in Sweden under Saab and in Mexico under GM respectively. The deal also brings to close the tumultuous saga which saw Spyker making the initial offer and last-minute bid for Saab, before Saab's company board voted for liquidation.