Spyker confirms revised Saab bid

Spyker confirms revised Saab bid
Dutch sports car maker Spyker has confirmed that it submitted a renewed bid for Saab Automobile before the expiry of General Motors' Thursday evening deadline.

“Spyker Cars today has made a revised offer to General Motors for the acquisition of Saab Automobile A.B.,” Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a statement.

GM extended a deadline to consider offers for Saab last month after Spyker approached the US automaker with a last ditch proposal.

“We have continued a constructive dialogue with GM over the acquisition of Saab,” Muller said. “We believe the Saab brand has lots of potential and would be keen to close a deal as quickly as possible.”

Speaking to AFP on Thursday he said: “It is the same offer we made during the weekend of December 20 (last year), but it is being completely refined following discussions” in recent weeks.

Muller did not give any details.

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

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

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

Muller said he did “not know” whether there were any other bidders.

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

British media reports Friday said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone had teamed up with a Luxembourg investment firm to launch a last-minute rescue bid for Saab.

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

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.

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

Saab was due to resume production on January 11 after a four-week shutdown as part of plans to close the plant.

Its closure would be just the latest upheaval in Sweden’s once blooming auto industry.

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