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Saab owner makes $3bn claim against GM

Saab owner makes $3bn claim against GM

Published: 06 Aug 2012 15:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Aug 2012 15:53 GMT+02:00

Dutch car-maker Spyker said Monday it has filed a three-billion-dollar claim in a US court against General Motors, whose actions it said lead directly to Swedish Saab's bankruptcy last year.

"The lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market," Saab's owner Spyker said in a statement issued in Zeewolde in the Netherlands.

The Swedish carmaker filed for bankruptcy in December last year after attempts to raise funds in China were thwarted by General Motors, which had previously owned Saab and refused a transfer of patents needed for the Chinese deal to go through.

"GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortiously interfering with a transaction... to restructure and remain a solvent growing concern," Spyker said in the statement.

Spyker said it would pay for Saab's legal costs in return for a "very substantial share of Saab Automobile's award when the proceedings are successful," it added.

Saab received a new lease on life last month with Asian investors aiming to revive the iconic brand to make electric cars for the Chinese market buying the company out of bankruptcy.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), a new company created by two firms in Hong Kong and Japan just a few months ago and registered in Sweden with the express purpose of buying Saab, said it would buy the ill-fated automaker for an undisclosed sum.

Chinese carmaker Youngman had long been interested in buying Saab and tried to snap it up before it declared bankruptcy -- but those efforts were stymied by Saab's former owner GM, which balked at transferring the necessary technology licences.

Saab was on the brink of bankruptcy when GM sold it in early 2010 to Spyker for $400 million.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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