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Turkish firm pulls Saab bid over GM 'rebuff'

AFP/The Local · 28 Feb 2012, 14:15

Published: 28 Feb 2012 14:15 GMT+01:00

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"We have withdrawn the bid... We cannot continue due to GM's attitude," Brightwell Holdings board member and spokesman Zamier Ahmed told financial daily Dagens Industri (DI).

Ahmed told AFP last month the private equity firm was planning a bid to purchase all of the Swedish carmaker that filed for bankruptcy on December 19th, and according to DI the plan had been to rehire most of Saab's old employees.

But Ahmed said that talks late on Monday had faltered with GM, which has blocked previous attempts to sell the carmaker by refusing to transfer the necessary technology licences.

GM first bought 50 percent of Saab in 1990 and fully owned it from 2000 until it sold the Swedish brand already on the brink of bankruptcy to Dutch carmaker Spyker -- now called Swedish Automobile -- in early 2010.

Saab administrator Hans Bergqvist reiterated during a telephone conference on Tuesday that a number of "indicative bids" had come in for the bankrupt company, both from abroad and from within Sweden, but would not comment on where the bids came from or whether any potential bidders had pulled out.

Bergqvist, who had previously said there were as many as seven interested parties, would not provide numbers Tuesday but said said new parties had voiced interest for Saab over the past week.

Chinese carmaker Youngman, which had been negotiating to buy Saab before it filed for bankruptcy and which has continued to express interest in the company, meanwhile confirmed to public broadcaster SVT that it had placed a preliminary bid for all of Saab of about two billion kronor ($298 million).

Story continues below…

Reports have also surfaced that Indian commercial utility vehicles manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra has placed a bid as well.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:50 February 28, 2012 by 2394040
With the passage of time, it appears more and more likely that GM will block the sale of SAAB to anyone; regardles of whom it might be. I believe that was GM's goal from the beginning. One less competitor.
17:49 February 29, 2012 by Groda
GM is just pissed no one wants to buy their garbage.
17:52 February 29, 2012 by br25
I think it is time for GM to do the right thing and buy back SAAB.

They could name their own price and they can afford to since they made billions last year.

GM is covering warranies from when they owned SAAB this would help them with parts and keep thier prized technology out of Chinas hands.

(Well they sold Hummer to China and have I believe joint ventures in China so much for keeping your technology safe!)

Keeping SAAB alive would help buyers from the Spyker era ME.

SAAB lovers world wide would better access to parts and the new planned products.

GM would also gain goodwill instead of negative feelings.

Think about it GM or at least cover my warranty!
22:14 March 2, 2012 by Scotsaab
GM cannot afford to buy back Saab. They reduced its value over 20 years and, like their own position, deprived it of liquidity and a future.

Sad to say Saab's future is bleaker than ever - a terminal patient on a ventilator in need of a miracle.

Perhaps the kindest thing now is simply to switch off its life support machine and put it out of reach of the many dubious bids and private venture capital companies who are sniffing around its remains.

The best days of Saab are way back in the days before GM. The days when it was an international rally winner and a company that broke with convention to deliver the first volume production turbo. It's history in innovation was rich - something that stopped dead after GM took over.
11:27 March 3, 2012 by viennacalling
that is correct scotsaab, the best days for Saab were prior to GM

and GM are now going to do the same to a French Auto Manufacturer
19:40 March 5, 2012 by Escort
Saab went into decline long before GM took over. GM made things worse, but they didn't start the ball rolling. The truth is that neither Saab or for that matter Volvo had the resources to succeed as independents. They got themselves into that hole and then GM and Ford respectively dug them in deeper. The motor industry today is made up of multinational giants and niche tinies - there is no room for medium-sized "almost but not quite premium" firms like Saab and Volvo. If Ford hadn't sold Volvo to Geeley, the same thing would probably have happened to them. Sad but true, nether of the two Swedes could have survived as independents in today's market conditions.
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