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Formula One boss face of last-minute Saab bid

AFP/The Local · 8 Jan 2010, 08:45

Published: 08 Jan 2010 08:45 GMT+01:00

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Luxembourg-based Genii Capital announced it was interested in making an offer with Ecclestone, just as the deadline for final bids for Saab expired at 10pm GMT on Thursday, the BBC reported.

The privately-held firm said it would "aggressively work towards a successful closing of the transaction with all the relevant stakeholders of the company."

It said it believes Saab has "tremendous brand value in a number of key automotive markets, as well as an innovative image," the reports added.

Genii already has links with Ecclestone after it last month bought a stake in the Renault Formula One team, allowing the team to remain in the sport.

US carmaker General Motors announced in December it would wind up Saab, which employs 3,400 people in Sweden.

However GM extended a deadline to consider offers for Saab after Dutch

sports car maker Spyker approached the US automaker with a last-ditch proposal.

Spyker chief executive officer Victor Muller said on Thursday it would submit a definitive, updated bid for Saab.

Story continues below…

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

Analysts have warned that some 8,000 jobs could be lost with Saab's closure.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:17 January 8, 2010 by Just_Kidding
There are two cases: First, for some reason, GM will sell SAAB for a price higher than a predetermined price; or Second, GM will sell for any price. If the case one is true, why GM does not disclose this price? Is this an auction or is it just a game or predetermined closure of SAAB auto at any price with funny excuses? Yes, the auto maker was loosing money, but if someone is offering to pay for the company and honor its obligations, shouldn't GM rush to sell? (I wonder if GM is just playing games to increase bids.)
09:30 January 8, 2010 by Keith #5083
It is playing games to get as much from any source as it can - including grants/loans/GIFTS from the EU or the Swedish Gov.

It is one of the worst features/vices of modern 'top' management, whether found in many industries or services. Even allowing for the complexities of modern life, computerisaion has vastly helped the accuracy and flow of management information, the 'trained incompetance' at the top of some industries is staggering.
09:38 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
It will be interesting if they turn down Ecclestone.

He would probably sue them for defamtion if they accuse him of not being in a financial postition to buy.
10:13 January 8, 2010 by witsltd
GM has played it well. Now a lot of people want SAAB, and it is not that important anymore if Swedish government will endorse anyone or help SAAB in anyway.
10:32 January 8, 2010 by Just_Kidding
... maybe GM is playing a game, or maybe its under pressure from its creditors as they don't trust new buyers and don't let GM accept bids from companies that they don't see fit to bring the SAAB to profitability and repay the debts, as the new owner may lose more money, sell SAAB''s assets and declare bankruptcy.
10:46 January 8, 2010 by Venturisection
I like the way people seem to think its as simple as selling it.

You're talking about shared technology, patents, and dealerships. You're also talking about a very very large company which has just come out of a BANKRUPCY!!! You think they have money laying around that they can chuck randomly at a loss making business. The fact it didn't dissappear during the bankrupcy is amazing. Just be happy people are showing interest and it might get sold.

Yes GM is certainly playing a game they're trying to survive!!!!!!!!
11:30 January 8, 2010 by spy
There are obviously serious buyers with money. GM better prepare for a public backlash if they close Saab now. Not just from car nuts but also from their shareholders who will suffer greatly!
21:09 January 8, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
GM's shareholders will probably better off if SAAB is wound down and the assets sold.

At the end of the day, the GM bean counters know what is best for the bottom line and chosen the best path for GM.

Unlike running a premium brand car company, selling or winding down a company profitably is something GM's bean counters are probably capable of doing.
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