We have the full details on the purchase of Saab by Spyker. Can they turn the loss-making brand around? The story inside.
Spyker will give $74 million in cash to General Motors by mid-July in exchange for ownership of Saab. GM will continue to hold $326 million in preferred shares of the Swedish automaker.
GM will also get unspecified "additional consideration" as well, according to GM vice-president John Smith. This is speculated to include $100 million in liquid cash already held by Saab.
The negotiation was completed on the condition that Spyker chairman Vladimir Antonov resign his position and sell off his interest in the Dutch automaker. Antonov, the 35-year-old chair of Russian firm Convers Group, will be bought out by Tenaci Capital, an investment company owned by Spyker CEO Victor Muller.
Part of the deal hinged on Spyker getting support from the Swedish government for a loan from the European Investment Bank. Once the deal between Spyker and GM was completed, the government announced that they would guarantee a €400 million loan from the EIB.
There were so many things at work here," Muller said in an interview with Automotive News. "It was such a complex deal; trying to take a company that was part of General Motors for 20 years and carving that out as a different business."
In 20 years of ownership by General Motors, Saab never once turned a profit.
Saab will continue final development of the new 9-5, with full production of the executive car scheduled to begin in April. As part of the deal, GM will provide the Saab 9-4x crossover, built on the same platform as the Cadillac SRX. GM will also continue to supply Saab with powertrain components into the future, and will coordinate engineering work with Spyker to guarantee a smooth transition.
Spyker and GM jointly announced that Saab vehicles will continue to be covered by their warranties.
Spyker produced less than 50 cars last year, while Saab produced over 93,000. Despite the difference in scale, Muller said, "Our brand values are closely related to that of Saab."
"Both Saab and Spyker are highly individualistic, both have aircraft heritage, and both follow independent Scandinavian and Dutch thinking."