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Ecclestone prepares new cash bid for Saab

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09:22 CET+01:00
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone remains in the hunt to buy Saab from General Motors despite reports touting Dutch sportscar maker Spyker as the sole remaining bidder.

Swedish businessman Lars Carlström, fronting a group led by Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital, said he had not heard anything from GM to the effect that Spyker was the only bidder under consderation:

"No such information has been given to us. We are going on with our process and looking into things that we could eventually formalise better for GM."

"We are looking forward to a dialogue with GM next week. We don't see any obstacles or problems... we haven't had those kinds of indications at all," Carlström added.

He told AFP on Wednesday that his group made "a new offer showing the financial strength of Genii-Ecclestone" but refused to disclose details of the offer.

"We are looking into a possibility ... to discuss with GM (an offer containing) a larger amount of cash" than what competing bidders have offered, he said on Sunday.

Carlström explained that the Genii-Ecclestone offer would be larger than others, "not in terms of the total amount (of cash and preferred shares) but in terms of cash."

Saab, which employs 3,400 people in Sweden, is one of four major brands being sold by GM as part of a massive restructuring 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.

Spyker officials announced last week that GM is considering its last ditch bid to save Saab, even though the American auto giant had said it had given up hope of selling the Swedish car firm.

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