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SAAB

Merbanco pulls out of race to buy Saab

The CEO of the small US investment company has emailed independent enthusiast website SaabsUnited.com to say GM has turned down the firm’s bid to buy Saab.

Merbanco pulls out of race to buy Saab

On Friday the website published a statement from Merbanco CEO Christopher Johnston.

”Despite our best efforts and meeting the Sellers requirements, we were just notified we were not selected to buy Saab,” he said. ”We are disappointed and quite tired.”

SaabsUnited.com said the comments were confirmed in private email correspondence.

”Sometimes the best deal is the one you don’t do,” Johnston concluded as the Wyoming-based firm were forced to throw in the towel.

The news comes ahead of General Motors’s extended January 7th deadline for offers to by Swedish unit Saab Automobile.

GM has confirmed it has received a number of bids with Dutch sportscar maker Spyker in the running.

A group comprising of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Genii Capital, a Luxembourg investment firm has announced a bid to rescue the ailing carmaker.

Swedish media has also reported a third bid approach by Swedish business leaders led by Jan Nygren, a former cabinet minister.

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CARS

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.