Saab brand sold to Spyker but will remain in use

General Motors and Spyker Cars have confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile, worth an estimated $400m (£248m). UK marketing assets will be included in the sale and are currently being negotiated.

As part of the agreement, Dutch luxury cars manufacturer Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward.

In order to allow Saab to operate on a stand-alone basis outside GM, Saab and GM will enter into a number of ancillary agreements. As part of the sale, Spyker intends to negotiate the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Saab Great Britain Limited, the UK distribution, marketing and sales company for Saab, from General Motors UK Limited.

The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals.

The Swedish government is currently reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the deal.

Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe, says: “Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand. We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s CEO, adds: “We are very much looking forward to being part of the next chapter in Saab’s illustrious history. Saab is an iconic brand that we are honoured to shepherd. We are delighted to have secured the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers and to have given reassurance to the 1.5 million Saab drivers and enthusiasts around the world. It was breathtaking to see so much support from the global Saab community over the last months which not only shows the strength of the brand but also helped us in our relentless determination to get the deal done.”

“Spyker Cars will provide Saab with the backing required to compete as a competitive global brand along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand.”

The brand was due to be folded last month, but last minute bids have kept hope for the brand .

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