Saab sale snapshot

It’s the start of a new week, and the end of a Christmas holiday that’s seen many of the players take a breath.
It’s time to take a deep breath and get ready for one final lunge to finishing line. Here’s where we’re at.
THE TIMELINE
As I write this entry, it’s almost 7pm on Monday 28th December. That’s 3am on the same day in Detroit and 9am in Sweden.
If GM wait out the full length of their deadline, then we’ve got just short of 4 days to go until midnight on Thursday, the 31st. Hopefully the wait won’t be that long, though.
I’m looking out for something on Wednesday, but that’s just based on a hunch from Djup Strupe and even then it was just Sprupe’s feeling, not set in concrete.
THE PLAYERS
General Motors – I believe they really do want to sell, despite evidence of a plan B and the wheels being set in motion for a closure. Selling is the better option, imagewise. My guess that selling or winding down would be pretty even, financially. They haven’t been able to complete a sale yet, and failure to do so on any account would be a blow to some of the execs there. It would be proof to their critics of the supposed dead wood they were carrying and more than anything it would highlight the inability of current management to get something done.

Merbanco/Swedes – Merbanco and the Swedish consortium, let’s call them ‘Sason’ for the moment (not their real name), have both been involved in the sale since early this year. I don’t know why the Sason group didn’t progress, but Merbanco (an investment group from Wyoming, USA) were there in Zurich when Koenigsegg were named as GM’s preferred bidder. So they’ve both been involved for some time, they know the landscape and to varying extents, the decision makers know them, too.
CJ, the CEO from Merbanco, has said right here on SU that they’ve agreed to everything they’ve been asked. They’re effectively ready to go, ready to close the deal.

Spyker
Spyker came into the picture after the deal with Koenigsegg went south. When GM announced back on December 1 that they would give Saab until the end of the year (again), Victor Muller was seen at the LA Auto Show on December 2 or 3 saying that they would make a play for Saab.
They did so and were considered the frontrunners until GM announced some concerns had scuttled the deal on December 18. We’ve been on the edge of our proverbial seats ever since.
Spyker re-organised their group and submitted a new deal that apparently addressed all eleven points of concern that GM had, but the deal hasn’t been done yet.

Miami group
Talk appeared from an extremely well placed Djup Strupe over the weekend of a third group, based in Miami. Little is known about this group, so it’s hard to speculate on their chances. Some have speculated that it might be the guy behind Autonation, but I’ve done a little homework there and I just don’t think so. His business model is a service model, not manufacturing and I just couldn’t see him going into manufacturing, especially in such a risky foreign environment.
Whoever they are, if they’ve only just joined the dance, it’s hard to see them succeeding in a timeframe that would suit GM.
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So…..
We wait. We think. We hope. We support Saab and all the people who work for the company.

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