General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab

The press release we’ve all been waiting for…..

  • Deal will secure Saab’s future
  • EIB expected to provide $600 million financing with state guarantee by the Swedish government
  • GM reinvention achieves another milestone

Zurich. General Motors Corp. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.
The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab’s operations and product program investments. This includes plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development. Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20, 2009. This tentative agreement is a key milestone for Saab to successfully emerge from its reorganization process.
“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”
As part of the proposed transaction, GM will continue to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period. Additionally, Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in the Saab production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden.
“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.
The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to General Motors Corporation.
Post-release feedback via ctm in comments
From a Swedish news agency:
The staff at Saab in Trollhättan were informed on Tuesday morning in connection with the press release went out.
– “It is good thing that the situation is much clearer now. Then maybe we can stop all the speculation and get some peace and quiet to complete negotiations,” says Paul Åkerlund, IF Metall union.
– “I think this can be a good solution.”
He criticizes some self-appointed experts who have spoken, perhaps without knowing so much.
– “There are so many people talking on television and radio, but first they have to get acquainted with what this really means.”
Do you mean that the financial muscle behind the Koenigsegg?
– “There are financial muscle behind,” he says.
And more:
Anette Hellgren, union representative at Saab Automobile and also with the company’s board, is very happy on the announcement about Koenigsegg.
– “It is wonderful. We know that they have the financial muscle needed,” says Hellgren.
She would not reveal who the economic interests behind the team now buy Saab are, but wont to make sure that they are entirely adequate. Even long-term.
– “We have a long-term plan until 2013,” says Hellgren.
She also points out the advantage in that the company has been able to choose the buyers they want to sell to. GM and Saab have made the assessment that the group around the Koenigsegg is best suited.
Was there several options or was it just Koenigsegg in the end?
– “There were several. They were not alone in the end.”
She has never believed in anything else than that Saab would have a new owner. So dark was never the image, despite all the gloomy prophecies, earlier.
– “What reassured me was the great interest when it was time for reconstruction.”

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