This is hot off the presses and I can’t really comment much about it, but it appears that the Spyker Cars arm of Swedish Autombile has been sold to US private equity group North Street. You’ll recall the deal to sell the car company to CPP/Atnonov fell apart a few months ago.
According to this report, the reconstruction of Saab will continue on. Clearly this should ease the liquidity of SWAN to some extent, which is welcome news. Whether or not Spyker will rejoin Saab down the road is certainly in question. Read the article from the Financial Times (subscription only) after the break.
Thanks to Mihow for the tip!
North Street Capital, a US private equity firm, has agreed to buy Spyker sports cars after the collapse of a deal earlier this year to sell the troubled Dutch carmaker to a Russian-owned company.
North Street said in a draft announcement seen by the Financial Times and due to be released later on Wednesday that “the transaction is expected to strengthen [Spyker] in its efforts for new product development and stronger positioning in its factory auto racing team”. No changes in Spyker’s operations are planned. Terms were not disclosed.
Swedish Automobile, Spyker’s parent company, also owns Saab, the ailing Swedish carmaker that was granted bankruptcy protection last week. According to the draft release, the North Street deal will have no impact on Swedish Automobile during its efforts to restructure Saab.
CPP Global Holdings, a UK-based producer of coaches and bodies for cars owned by Vladimir Antonov, a former Spyker shareholder, agreed in February to buy the sports car business for an initial €15m plus an “earn-out” worth up to €17m to be paid over six years.
Swedish Automobile said then it was selling the sports car business to focus on Saab, which it bought from General Motors last year.
CPP said earlier this month that it was still trying to acquire Spyker, and might move production to a former Jaguar plant in Coventry in the UK. But last week CPP announced it plans to build a modernised version of the Jensen Interceptor at the Coventry plant.
A person familiar with the North Street deal said that Swedish Automobile’s talks with CPP had collapsed.
Victor Muller, Swedish Automobile’s chief executive, said on Wednesday “we never comment on speculation.”
The carmaker said that investments in Swedish Automobile announced in July by two Chinese auto firms, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus and Pangda, were still awaiting approval from the Chinese government.
Those investments, for a combined €245m, would give Zhejiang a 29.9 per cent stake and Pangda a 24 per cent stake in Saab, and are widely viewed as the company’s final lifeline. “We hope that process will be finished off in November,” Swedish Automobile said.
Spyker, which makes high-end supercars, is unprofitable and sold just 36 cars in 2009, the last year for which data are available. Mr Antonov claimed earlier this year that the company produced “zero units” in 2010.