Spyker Cars sold to US Private Equity Group

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.

19 thoughts on “Spyker Cars sold to US Private Equity Group”

  1. Well the original deal was £32 million (over time) so I’m assuming this is in that ballpark. This is one area I have almost no intelligence on, so Financial Times basically has a contact at North Street I’m guessing and that’s how this news leaked (pure speculation). Strong suspicions this didn’t leak from the SWAN side.

  2. We just got a status update from SAAB Cars NA about the reconstruction plan being presented on October 31, but no mention has been made in that document, or any other, about this. One would think they would communicate this to dealer in US quickly if accurate…

    • This hasn’t been confirmed by Saab. We’re posting news (that really isn’t huge news) as it comes in. It doesn’t really affect Saab much except that it helps SWAN short term with a cash infusion and allows them to focus on Saab only going forward.

  3. Well, it seems as though that Victor is saving money, which, in case the Pang Da-Youngman deal fails, it a good sign… He’ll be ready up until Plan Z, it looks like…

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the Endeavor Investment Fund stuff? Has that been declared null and void?

  4. My recollection was that the initial €15m was basically a no-cash deal (repaying VA what he was owed for his loan at during the Saab buy-out), whilst the €17m earn-out was the real cash part of the deal as far as SWAN were concerned. If this new deal is cash-based, it could mean that VM has decided to treat VA like any other creditor, which would be a major change.

    What is unclear here is whether the deal for CPP to manufacture the cars still holds, or does the factory still exist (and, if so, how?). The Spyker website hasn’t been updated in a long time, the news section just contains SWAN press releases, and there’s been no evidence of any car manufacturing (for instance, in SWAN’s accounts).

    Unfortunately, not being a Spyker owner, I don’t have access to the owners-only forum where the really interesting information about Spyker is to be found – can anybody else help?

  5. Hm, why do I feel sad?
    I’m sure that it pained Victor to see Spyker go.

    Btw, very difficult to find information about North Street Capital. I think it’s this one:
    NORTH STREET CAPITAL LLC
    1510 Lexington Ave
    New York, NY 10029
    Contact: MAXIMILIAN THOMPSON

    I’m not completely sure but it looks like that this Limited Liability Company was only formed in September 2011. So I wonder if it was only incorporated to set up the Spyker deal. The contact person is a relative newcomer and, assuming that I found the right person, seems to be an investment banking analyst at JP Morgan.
    My guess is that a group of reasonably well to do people have just bought Spyker for not too much money. Maybe some of Victors NY friends are involved?
    Jeff, you’re in New York, maybe you could ask a certain architect if he knows more:)

    • There is another one that looks promising.

      http://www.northstreetlp.com/ – an information-free zone.

      The domain, only registered on 15/06/11, is registered to one Alex Mascioli; according to http://alexmascioli.wordpress.com/about/, “Greenwich Connecticut resident, entrepreneur and race-car driver, Alex Mascioli is a life-long performance car enthusiast.”

      According to http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexmascioli, Alex is “Managing Partner, North Street Capital LP”:

      LinkedIn sais:

      Managing Partner
      North Street Capital LP
      Capital Markets industry
      March 2011 – Present (7 months) Greenwich, Connecticut

      North Street Capital, LP is an employee owned hedge fund company. North Street Capital runs a Global Macro hedge fund, a private venture fund and a fund of funds (The Sapphire Funds). The overall investment strategy is opportunistic, with a focus on public and private equity, global hedging markets, structured credit arbitrage, real estate, transportation, turn arounds and workouts. North Street Capital, LP is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.

      So, on the face of it, NSC – if it is this NSC!! – is a start-up fund-management business, pursuing ‘opportunistic’ investments, run by a car enthusiast. That might not be such a bad buy 🙂

      • You get the cigar!
        I’m pretty happy it’s not the one I thought it was. Having someone who has a passion for cars in charge feels much better.
        And hey, they are pretty close to Long Island, so maybe we’ll see a bit more Spykers here.

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