German report: Spyker and GENII lodging joint bid (not true). PLUS Statement from GENII

Comments are still switched off and will remain so for another 24 hours or so from the time of writing.

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There are a couple of reports I need to cover and as they’re somewhat related, I’ll do them both at once here.

Firstly, I covered a story earlier today from Business Week. That story stated that Spyker were the final remaining bidder negotiating with General Motors for the sale of Saab.

The Business Week story appears to be offline at the moment, returning a 404 page. I’ve contacted one of the writers, Ola Kinnander, and he’s unsure as to why it’s offline. It was due for an update and may be back up soon, however it has not been retracted.

UPDATE – the article is now appearing on Business Week’s parent website, Bloomberg.

As to the substance of the story, I wrote this at the time:

Genii say that they are still prepared to talk with GM, so it seems that whilst they may not have received the same cut-off phone call that Merbanco received at this point, GM’s focus is on doing the deal with Spyker.

I still believe that this is the case, that GM’s focus right now is on the Spyker bid.

Further to this, I’ve received the following comment from Lars Carlstrom, spokesman for the Genii/Ecclestone group:

We have no information saying that Spyker would be the last remaining bidder for Saab.

And you should also remember that Carlstrom has been quoted elsewhere in the last 24 hours, saying the he plans on speaking further with GM next week.

This would tend to confirm what I wrote above, that they haven’t received any sort of cut-off notice at this point, but I maintain my understanding that GM’s focus is on Spyker right now.

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There has been a report in a German publication today stating that Genii and Spyker would join together to present a unified bid.

This report also featured in some Swedish papers earlier this week but was denied by Genii at that time. Spyker also stated that this was not likely.

I have also asked Lars Carlstrom about this today, receiving the following reply:

“We had discussions around this earlier but decided to continue one by one, we admire the strong support Muller has given Saab. There will always be an option of working together in the future, but for now we work independently as parties trying to succeed buying Saab”

A joint bid would effectively mean changing the bid, changing the ownership composition, etc. Any advance work that’s been done with the Swedish government (if any) would have to be reversed and re-commenced.

At this late stage with a liquidator in place, such changes are not likely.