Stockholm (Sweden), 16. June 2009 – General Motors (GM) and family-owned Konigsegg love to announce today that Saab Automobile AB will be acquired by the equally Swedish sports car maker. However, the purchase price was not disclosed. According to General Motors, the deal is expected to be closed in the third quarter with several financiers in the background. The Swedish government is expected to guarantee a $600 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), on which the sale is based. dpa However, according to Swedish Economy Minister Maud Olofsson, it is not yet known how financially strong the buyers actually are. Since sufficient capital is essential for Saab’s future, a decision on the guarantee will be made only after a thorough evaluation.
75 percent debt forgiveness by GM
Konigsegg – Swedish manufacturer of exclusive sports cars with just 45 employees – plans to save Saab and the jobs of its 3400 employees. General Motors will provide support for a specified period of time by providing new powertrain technologies and model platforms. GM will also cancel 75 percent of Saab’s debts to its parent company. Today’s dpa-Saab’s debt burden amounts to approximately 9 billion Swedish kronor (about 830 million euros). The next generation of the Saab 9-5 model is to continue to be manufactured at the Trollhattan production site under the terms of the contract.
Brand name with potential
GM European boss Carl-Peter Forster said the buyer was "a fantastic mix of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength". Jan Åke Jonsson, the current CEO of Saab, was also pleased: "This agreement gives us the opportunity to maximize the potential of our brand name with the help of new, exciting cars with a distinctly Swedish character." The head of Saab’s works council, Paul Akerlund, also stressed his satisfaction with the solution, referring to the satisfactory financial strength of the buyer.