Saab Delays Sale Decision, New Bidder In The Ring

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2009 Saab 9-3

2009 Saab 9-3

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Saab may yet fend off relegation to the same scrap heap as Pontiac and Saturn, as the company today delayed a meeting to decide on Spyker's latest bid in order to consider new proposals, including one from private equity firm Genii Capital, which also owns a stake in Renault's F1 team.

Spyker's final shot was due to be decided upon today, but the entry of Genii into the ring--potentially with a cash offer--means the meeting will be put off until tomorrow. Genii plans to use Koenigsegg AB's business plan, which received GM's approval, the deal falling short on funding instead. But Genii stands poised to fulfill Ed Whitacre's desire to have someone--anyone--show up with the money. It'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if Saab has a surprise new owner. Other issued to be handled tomorrow include how to start Saab back up on January 11 after its four-week break.

The details of Spyker's final bid are still wrapped in secrecy, but GM is open to the offer, according to Reuters and other reports. Spyker is said to be optimistic about its long-shot chances at taking over the much-larger brand--so optimistic, in fact, that it already has floated a product plan to be implemented, should it win Saab.

The core models under Spyker's leadership would be the 9-3 lineup of sedans and wagons, the 9-5 sedan and wagon, and the 9-4X crossover. The stalled 9-1 minicar project would be put on hold until the company is able to spend more on developing and launching a new car. The Saab HQ would stay in Trollhattan, Sweden, and production of all vehicles save for the 9-4X would stay in the snowy Scandinavian nation. The 9-4X would be built in GM's Ramos Arizpe, Mexico facility, according to Reuters.

Spyker's final bid is its third attempt to meet GM's goals for the Saab sale. GM's Chairman and interim CEO says meeting their goals is simple. "It's real easy--just show up with the money and you can have it. Nobody's come with the money," said Whitacre, "so we're in the wind-down mode." If Saab doesn't find a buyer this time around, it will likely be closed by January 31.

[Bloomberg, Automotive News (1) (2), Reuters, The Local, ]

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