There have been some conflicting reports about this in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, Jan-Ake Jonsson responded to the GM Bankruptcy filing and in an article covered by AFP on that response, he mentioned that a bidder was interested in re-entering the process.
When asked about the identity of a potential new owner, Jonsson said: “We have two that we are having serious discussions with and one that is interested in coming back into the process.”
TTELA then confirmed this was the case in a story by Magnus Nordberg.
Saab’s two final candidates have been three. This is then a stakeholder, previously screened away, come back with a better offer.
– They try to come into the picture again, “says Saab informationschef Eric Geer, and confirms that the two final candidates now been joined by a third.
14 hours ago, after the AFP and TTELA reports, Reuters came out saying that there are still only two bidders in the process, with no mention of the possible returning bidders.
General Motors Corp’ Saab Automobile unit has narrowed talks with potential buyers for the loss-making Swedish brand to two, Saab’s top executive was quoted as saying in a Swedish business daily on Tuesday.
“Now we are negotiating with just two parties,” Saab’s chief executive, Jan-Ake Jonsson, said in Dagens Industri.
Jonsson said final negotiations with one of those two potential suitors could start this week.
“This can go fast now and should absolutely be wrapped up in a maximum of two weeks,” he said in the report, adding a letter of intent with a “serious buyer” could be ready before mid-June.
So who’s right and who’s wrong?
I got on the phone tonight and got in touch with one of several Djup Strupes familiar with the situation and the answer is – all three.
Officially speaking, Saab still only have two bids on the table (Renco and Koenigsegg). But the implication in AFP and the story in TTELA are correct. Djup Strupe tells me that there may be either one or two parties who were previously involved in the process, had submitted lower bids, and were now looking to up their offer and get back in the game.
No identities were mentioned but a few were ruled out – any Chinese bidders and Fiat.
The time frame mentioned in the Reuters article was also mentioned to me as being accurate – an MoU within a few weeks and final signatures by the end of June (possibly pushing out to the first week in July).
Hopefully they’ll manage it a bit better than GM did with the Hummer announcement, where their intended secrecy lasted all of about three hours before the buyer’s name was leaked to the press.
Please name them straight away – and the sooner the better 🙂
As an addendum to this story, Auto Motor and Sport are running a story stating that Magna are not interested in Saab at this point in time.
Magna chief, Frank Stronach, stated that they’ve got enough to chew on at the moment with Opel, and that other companies are not on their horizon.