The agreement (officially, a memorandum of understanding) between Saab’s parent, Swedish Automobile (Swan) and its Chinese benefactors officially expires today, but the automaker advises talks will continue between all parties.
For now, the most immediate hurdle is finding conditions that GM will accept, allowing Saab to be sold to the Chinese. GM is opposing this for two reasons: first, it may compromise the automaker’s position in the Chinese market, and second, it will give Pang Da and Youngman access to technologies and designs that GM would rather not share.
If an agreeable arrangement can be found, the deal between Swan, Pang Da and Youngman still needs the approval of the Chinese and Swedish governments, as well as the sign-off by the European Investment Bank.
Throw the sale of supercar manufacturer Spyker, also owned by Swan, into the mix and things get even more cloudy. North Street Capital, a U.S.-based investment firm, had previously agreed to buy the Spyker business, but six weeks later the deal has not been concluded.
As Automotive News (subscription required) reports, even the sale of both businesses may not be enough to cover Swan’s debts. While the sale of Saab and Spyker is expected to raise some 132 million Euros ($181 million), Swan’s current financial obligations total $136.5 million Euros ($187.2 million).
Sadly, it means that even successful sales of Spyker (somewhat of a long shot) and Saab (an even longer shot) may not be enough to save the company from a voluntary liquidation.
You'll find our complete coverage of Saab's ongoing struggles here.