We have a few stories coming out today about Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC).
I think there will be more to come. And I think we’re looking at the Chinese company that has placed a bid for Saab.
How it’s all happened:
BAIC were identified as being a company that placed a late bid for Opel. Their bid is most likely very well funded, being authorised by the Chinese government, but as it was late, GM are said to be ignoring it and dealing only with the three bidders for Opel who have already been identified (FIAT, Magna and RHJ).
German publication, FAZ.net, wrote that BAIC were using a German Bank to front for them in negotiations. And this is the important link.
All sources have said that Saab had a Chinese bidder amongst the ranks. Geely were ruled out by their own admission and externally to me by several sources. That bidder was not known, however.
GT.se and Auto Motor and Sport both mentioned that a German Bank was in on the process. GT.se had the opinion – several times – that the Germans were fronting for GM as a control in the negotiations. AMS heard that it was Magna.
I think it was BAIC and that this is the Chinese company that are bidding for Saab.
The questions that remain now are:
- If they’re interested in Opel, does that mean they’ve lost interest in Saab?
- Would GM be interested in dealing with them?
One interesting thing about BAIC bidding on Saab is that would quite possibly take the Swedish government out of the equation as a deciding factor. I’m sure they’d still have an influence somehow, but BAIC would be financed so well that the EIB loans the Swedish government have offered to guarantee would quite possibly not be required.