So what is the lawsuit all about?
August 6, 2012 in News
After having read through the complaint handed in by Spyker this morning and talking to a number of sources a clear picture has risen about the key aspects of this lawsuit.
There was a contract between Saab and GM Global Technology Operations, Inc. (“GTO”) called the ATLA (Automotive Technology License Agreement) in which the rights to various GM automobile platforms and other GM intellectual property used in the manufacture of certain Saab vehicles. Under the terms of the ATLA, GTO granted to Saab a non-exclusive, non- transferable, worldwide, royalty-free license to GM intellectual property necessary for the manufacture, assembly and service of Saab 9-5 and 9-3 models identified in exhibits to the ATLA (the “Licensed Vehicles”).
The purpose of the license was to permit Saab to make and assemble the Licensed Vehicles containing GM technology. In the ATLA, Saab needed the written approval if it wanted to use any of the GM controlled technology in any other way than what was initially stated during the purchase of Saab, ie to produce cars in Trollhättan, Sweden.
As we know, Saab entered into financial difficulties during the spring of 2011 and sought different solutions with different Chinese partners. GM was aware and informed regarding Saab’s attempts to find new funding and did not state that they were in opposition to any such deals made by Saab and its Chinese partners. However all of the deals prior to December 16th included some kind of approval by GM since it involved ownership in Saab and in such access to GM technology by other parties than Spyker, which was controlled under the ATLA contract. GM did not accept any breach of the ATLA contract and did not offer any approval for new owners into Saab Automobile or Spyker.
Under the Saab Vehicle Supply Agreement, which was signed when Spyker purchased Saab from GM. GM had agreed to supply components and manufacture the Saab 9-4X for Saab through December 2014. And neither GM nor Saab could cancel this agreement for convenience. Even so GM, through Mr. Cain, threatened that GM would not continue to provide Saab with GM components or manufacture the Saab 9-4X if Saab entered the Framework Agreement.
The Framework Agreement is an agreement made between Youngman and Spyker (SWAN at the time) on December 16th, in which Youngman would loan €200 million in order for Saab to restart production of all its models and that loan would only be converted into an equity interest in Saab after Saab ceased using GM technology in its vehicles.
Since GM decided to publicly announce the halt of any cooperation on one of Saab’s key products, the 9-4X if the Framework agreement was put in practice, Youngman feared that Saab could not live up to its business-plan in such rightly so, backed out of the Framework deal and Saab in such entered into bankruptcy on the 19th of December.
- Framework Agreement, NO GM involvement
- GM threatening to halt cooperation on the 9-4x even though they had no rights to do so
- Youngman backing out because of GM’s threats to halt cooperation if the Framework agreement was put in effect.
- GM caused the bankruptcy of Saab Automobile.