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Only one bidder for ailing Saab: report

Dutch boutique car maker Spyker Cars is said to be the only remaining bidder for the troubled General Motors unit Saab Automobile based in Sweden. Saab is in the first stage of gradually being liquidated.

Only one bidder for ailing Saab: report

According to Bloomberg News, “two people close to the situation” said the Spyker bid was the only one being considered by the Detroit automotive giant. The agency said Spyker has offered GM $75 million in cash and $325 million in preferred shares in the company that would emerge following the transaction. “Discussions between Spyker and GM are ongoing,” said a Spyker spokesman.

General Motors confirmed that discussions are proceeding, while it continues to wind down the company in a liquidation process. Bloomberg News suggested that a decision about whether to continue discussions with Spyker would be made by GM shortly.

The Bloomberg report was questioned by the financial group Genii Capital that includes Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula 1 boss. It had earlier placed an unspecified bid for Saab. Over the weekend a Genii spokesman said it would be able to deliver an even stronger bid than Spyker, with more cash upfront.

The Swedish government has stated it is prepared to provide loan guarantees if a suitable buyer is found. At stake are 3,400 jobs worldwide, mostly in Sweden where Saab cars are assembled. The company has not turned a profit since 2001.

In November Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg backed away from a deal to buy the company from GM.

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GENERAL MOTORS

US judge rejects Saab bankruptcy lawsuit

A US court has dismissed a $3 billion lawsuit by previous Saab owner Spyker alleging that US auto giant General Motors (GM) was responsible for causing the Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy.

US judge rejects Saab bankruptcy lawsuit

The Dutch sports car maker filed suit against GM in August 2012, claiming the US automaker interfered in a transaction that would have allowed Saab to restructure and stay afloat because GM wanted to dominate the Chinese market.

Saab, a former GM subsidiary, filed for bankruptcy in December 2011 after teetering on the edge of financial ruin for almost two years. A last-ditch bid to raise funds in China, with the group Youngman, was nixed by GM over technology transfer issues.

“GM’s actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM’s tortiously interfering with a transaction… to restructure and remain a solvent growing concern,” Spyker said in the statement at the time.

GM filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out and on Monday a federal judge in Detroit agreed.

“General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction,” U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain said in a hearing in Detroit, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The court is going to grant the motion to dismiss the matter.”

Spyker CEO Victor Muller refused to say whether or not he would appeal the ruling.

“We’ll consider an appeal as soon as soon as we have the written ruling,” Muller told the TT news agency via text message.

Muller has previously explained that the $3 billion figure associate with the lawsuit corresponds to what Saab would have been worth had GM not scuttled the deal with Youngman.

TT/The Local/dl

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