Transfer of ownership and operations to Spyker Cars takes place
Previously announced wind down of Saab operations ends
A new era begins for an iconic auto brand
DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today announced that they have finalized the deal for Spyker to purchase Saab Automobile AB.
Going forward, Saab and Spyker will operate under the Spyker (AMS:SPYKR) umbrella, and Spyker will assume responsibility for Saab operations. The previously announced wind down of Saab operations has ended.
“This transaction represents the successful outcome of months of hard work and intense negotiations, all aimed at securing a sustainable future for this unique brand, and we are pleased with the positive outcome,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances. “This is a great day for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, and a great day for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide.”
“Throughout negotiations over the past year, GM has worked with many parties, including governments and investors, to find a solution for Saab,” said Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “I’m very pleased that we could come to a positive conclusion, one that presents a viable future for Saab and preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere.”
The good news keeps on coming for Saab, as Spyker shareholders have now approved the purchase of Saab from General Motors. This comes quickly on the heels of the EU putting its regulatory blessing on Sweden's guarantee of an EIB loan to Saab worth $546 million.
ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (8 February, 2010) – Spyker Cars N.V. announces today that Spyker has entered into a USD 25 million convertible loan agreement with an investment company owned by Heerema Holding Company Inc.
The USD 25 million loan has a 2 year term, an interest of Euribor + 10% and is convertible into shares at EUR 4 each. This loan secures the funding necessary to close the Saab transaction as the first USD 25 million has already been paid to GM on January 26, 2010. The convertible loan is conditional on SAAB receiving the EIB loan. On July 15 of this year a final payment of USD 24 million is due to GM. Spyker is confident that it will secure the funding for this second installment.
The European Commission approved the Swedish state guarantee for Saab. With respect to the approval of the Swedish state guarantee, competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The state guarantee will contribute to the implementation of Saab's business plan without giving rise to any undue distortions of competition."
ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (1 February, 2010) – In advance of the General Meeting of Spyker shareholders, to be held on 12 February 2010, and which was convened on 28 January 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. (“Spyker”) provides further strategic and financial details regarding its acquisition of Saab Automobile AB (”Saab”).
ACQUISITION RATIONALE AND SAAB BUSINESS PLAN
Spyker believes that through the purchase of Saab it has a rare opportunity to acquire and rebuild a global car brand which will be repositioned towards an independent performance-oriented niche car company with an industry-leading environmental strategy. Saab's brand DNA is unique and rooted in its aeronautical heritage, innovative and independent thinking and its Swedish origins. Spyker fully supports Saab's Business Plan which will be implemented by Saab management. The Business Plan, drawn up by Saab management over the past ten months, was analysed by Spyker in assistance with Booz & Co and KPMG Transaction Services, advisors to Spyker. The Business Plan has also been analysed and supported by several advisors to the Swedish Government and the EIB.
DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.
"Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.
“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.
As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward. The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time.
The Swedish government is at present reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.
“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”
Many of the "Save Saab" convoys took place today or are taking place currently, and the support by fans of the brand has been nothing short of astounding. SaabsUnited has plenty of photos and updates, so head on over there to check it all out. There are still more events taking place here and abroad next weekend, so there is still time to show your support!
The photo to the left is from the gathering in Taiwan. Similar turnouts were reported in Lithuania, Trollhattan (over 2000 cars!), Latvia, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other locations around the world. Saab owners and fans should be incredibly proud of the massive show of support and visibility they have given to Saab. If nothing else, General Motors and the world can see that this is not Saturn or Pontiac, that we will not go quietly into the night, that we love our Saabs and that we want to be able to buy new Saabs long into the future!
General Motors, we ask you again. Please. Save Saab!
The following is a press release from Saab History, which is organizing a convoy to Detroit to try to convince GM to sell the brand:
Media Invite To Saab Enthusiast Gathering Near GM Renn Center To Save Saab
On Thursday, January 7th, a deadline will expire and GM will ultimately need to decide the fate of Saab Automobile.
“Sell Opposed To Shutdown.” There are two known interested parties that have submitted bids to buy Saab, Spyker Cars & Merbanco.
As time is of the essence, Saab Enthusiasts have therefore decided to take an initiative by gathering near GM’s world headquarters in Detroit, in order to send a message to GM to “SELL SAAB.”
Saab owners and enthusiasts from the U.S. & Canada will gather near the GM Renaissance Center at approximately 1pm by showing their unwavering Saab spirit in lining up their Saabs, holding Signs, taking group photographs and speaking to the press about how important it is to sell Saab.
Since GM emerged from bankruptcy court this summer, they are now 60% owned by the U.S. Government. Saab owners, Saab dealers and U.S. taxpayers alike, all want to see Saab sold in order to preserve thousands of jobs and and nearly $500 million dollars from the 218 Saab dealerships, small business assets in the United States.
“If there are enough Saab owners and enthusiasts parked outside of the GM Renaissance center in Detroit, perhaps we could really show them how serious we are in wanting Saab Automobile to have a bright future and be sold.” says Ryan Emge, editor of SaabHistory.com, an independent promotional news site.
This timely event marks a final effort in the Saab Community to save a company that has historically seen the value in saving the lives of its customers.
What: Saab Enthusiast Gathering Near GM Renn Center To Save Saab
When: Meet On Tuesday, January 5th at noon. / Saab Car Gathering is at 1pm nearby. (Press To Attend)
Where: Lunch At GM Renn Cenn Food Court followed by Saab car gathering at the public lot at the corner of Atwater and St. Antoine alongside the bay behind GM Renn Center.