Spyker to submit third Saab bid: report

Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is planing to approach General Motors on Thursday with a third bid for the US car maker's Swedish unit Saab Automobile, according to media reports.

Spyker to submit third Saab bid: report
Spyker CEO Victor R Muller, Photo: Spyker

“We will make an offer today,” Dow Jones Newswires quoted chief executive officer Victor Muller as saying, without giving further details of the bid.

Spyker renewed its initial offer on December 20, two days after GM announced it wanted to close down Saab, which employs 3,400 people in Sweden, by year-end.

Swedish press reports have said that GM agreed to re-open negotiations after the withdrawal of two of Spyker’s Russian investors from the bid. GM was reportedly concerned about the transfer of technical know-how to Russia.

GM has set a deadline of 11pm CET on Thursday for final offers.

According to Dow Jones, Muller had “no idea” whether Spyker was the only bidder.

On Wednesday, GM chief executive officer Ed Whitacre said he was “not confident” of a last-minute deal being made to save Saab, which has barely turned a profit in two decades under GM management.

Saab is one of four storied brands being shed by GM as part of a massive restructuring effort that began in 2005 and accelerated last year when the largest US automaker went bankrupt.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.