Trading in Spyker halted on Dutch exchange

Trading in Dutch sports car maker Spyker has been halted on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange as speculation mounts about a takeover of Saab Automobile.

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) announced that it had given instructions to suspend trading in Spyker shares at 1.45pm.

Shares in Spyker Cars rocketed almost 80 percent on Monday as rumours about the deal gathered pace.

“We’re going to be able to give more information later but I can’t say anything right now and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to give notification today,” said Spyker spokesman Mike Stainton.

Stainton didn’t deny that the stop in trading was related to the Saab deal.

“That’s a conclusion you are free to make, but nothing I can comment on,” he told TT.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller was also coy when asked about the trading stop, but appeared more bullish on the pace of negotiations.

“I can’t comment now, but there will definitely be some information later today,” he told financial news website E24.

Negotiations between General Motors (GM) and Spyker Cars about the sale of Saab Automobile continued on Tuesday, as questions about financing remained.

“There’s no news right now,” Muller wrote in a text message to the TT news agency shortly after 1pm.

As Muller continues his quest to convince the US auto giant that his company can assemble the financing necessary to pull off the purchase of Saab, Dutch billionaire Marcel Boekhoorn on Tuesday denied that he was going to help finance the deal.

“Marcel Boekhoorn affirms that he is not involved in Spyker Cars’ purchase of Saab,” read a statement received by TT.

“He has no further comments,” Boekhoorn’s secretary told TT.

Boekhoorn owns 3.84 percent of the shares in Spyker and serves as an advisor to CEO Muller, although he does his best to avoid publicity.

On Monday, the 50-year-old investment mogul was reportedly brought into the Spyker deal to ease GM concerns about a group of Russian investors who had previously agreed to back the bid.

Meanwhile, politicians in Belgium are trying to convince Spyker to move Saab’s production from its base in Trollhättan in western Sweden to Antwerp, according to Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad.

Antwerp is home to an Opel plant which General Motors (GM) is planning to shut down in June. A Dutch-Belgian car company could be created which would save 2,500 jobs at the Opel factory.

Spyker would receive a loan guarantee worth 1 billion kronor ($137 million) as part of the deal, which comes as part of a proposal put forward from the Flemish political party, Lijst Dedecker.

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Spyker to continue fight for GM Saab pay out

Dutch car builder Spyker on Thursday said it will appeal the dismissal of its $3.0 billion claim in a US court against General Motors, which Spyker accuses of deliberately bankrupting Sweden's Saab in 2011.

Spyker to continue fight for GM Saab pay out

“Spyker… shall appeal the ruling of the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan,” in favour of GM, the plaintiff car group Spyker said in a short statement from its headquarters in the central Dutch town of Zeewolde.

It did not give any further details.

Spyker filed a lawsuit in August claiming $3 billion in damages.

It alleged that GM criminally interfered in an operation that could have made it possible for Saab, which Spyker bought in 2010, to restructure and stay afloat, because the US automaker wanted to dominate the Chinese market.

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

Chinese carmaker Youngman had long been interested in buying Saab and tried

to snap it up before it declared bankruptcy — but its efforts were stymied by Saab’s former owner, GM, which balked at transferring the necessary technology


At the time, Spyker’s chief executive Victor Muller said that the $3 billion claim in compensation represented the value which Saab would have represented had the deal with Youngman gone through, but analysts at the time were sceptical whether the suit would succeed.

GM in its response to the claim denied any criminal action or intent, saying Saab had granted it a contractual right to agree, or not, to the transaction proposed by Spyker.

The US carmaker sold Saab in 2010 to Spyker. A deal reached parallel to the sale allowed Saab to keep using GM technologies and keep production going, but allowed GM to stop the arrangement if Saab changed hands.

GM has maintained that Spyker bought Saab “knowing its financial history, and subject to terms spelled out unambiguously in the arrangements attached to the complaint.”

“Those agreements include clear contractual limitations in the future use of GM’s technology, and on the transfer of technology to others,” GM said in a document, filed before the court a month after Spyker filed the claim.