Saab targeted by 12 buyers: union leader

As many as to 12 potential buyers are still in contention to purchase Saab Automobile nearly two months after its struggling US owner General Motors said it wanted to sell the Swedish automaker.

Saab administrator Guy Lofalk had said earlier this month that more than 20 buyers were interested in the loss-making brand, but sources said that number had now been whittled down to “the most serious investors.”

Paul Åkerlund, chairman of the works council and a member of the company’s supervisory board, told AFP on Wednesday that “between 10 and 12” were still involved in the talks and a deal was expected to be reached within two months.

“The plan is still at the end of June to have this all resolved and hopefully have a new owner for Saab,” he said, warning that any new owner should not cut jobs in Sweden and relocate production elsewhere.

Without giving a figure for the number of buyers, Saab spokesman Joe Oliver said: “We are talking to a smaller number of potential investors at the moment. We are confident now that we are talking to the most serious investors.”

Both sources said the potential buyers have been visiting Saab’s Trollhättan headquarters in western Sweden to present their business plans for the automaker.

General Motors wants to dispose of the unprofitable Saab by the end of the year in a bid to shore up its own balance sheet hit by the economic crisis.

Saab employs about 4,100 people in Sweden. Including suppliers, some 15,000 jobs in the country are believed to be at risk if the unit disappears.

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