2011 Saab 9-5Enlarge Photo
This time it’s an unnamed Chinese bank that's interested in buying up a stake in Saab, with fellow Chinese firm Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile also expected to purchase a stake.
In an official statement, Saab's current owner Swedish Automobile said it is in discussion with Youngman and a bank in China about an equity interest in the Saab parent. The discussions include a short term solution to enable Saab to pay its November wages and continue reorganization. The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain as any possible transaction would be subject to the approval of the relevant stakeholders.
Under the new agreement, it's likely the bank and Youngman would each own a 50 percent stake in the struggling Swedish automaker, with previous Chinese investor Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. no longer in the picture.
Swedish Automobile’s original 11th hour deal to sell Saab to Youngman and Pang Da failed after former owner GM, which still owns a portion of preferential shares, ruled to block the deal citing fears that its intellectual property currently licensed to Saab would fall into the hands of its competition in China.
The new deal with Youngman and the Chinese bank has been submitted for approval by GM. Note, GM is just one of four key players who must approve the sale of Saab before it can proceed, with the others being the European Investment Bank, the Swedish government and the Chinese government.
Saab remains under court protection from creditors, mostly suppliers, during this reorganization phase. The automaker hasn’t produced a single car since April of this year.
Stay tuned for an update but in the meantime follow our ongoing coverage of Saab's woes here.