Thursday, January 21, 2010
Spyker Renews Offer for SAAB, GM Says it Will Revaluate
In what could be a final attempt to save SAAB from closing down, tiny Dutch sports car maker Spyker submitted a new 11-point proposal to buy the Swedish brand from General Motors on Sunday. The Dutch company said that its new proposal addresses all the issues that resulted to the collapse of the talks earlier .
GM issued today an official statement saying that, following Friday's announcement on the closure of SAAB, it "received inquiries from several parties" and it will evaluate each and every one without disclosing any more details on the matter.
Spyker CEO Victor R. Muller said that he believes the company's new offer will be successful.
"We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31st", said Muller in a statement.
"Despite our collective eleventh hour set-back, we are returning to the table with a renewed offer, that addresses every known issue brought to light during the initial negotiations and that has the full backing of the Saab Management. The new offer eliminates the need for an EIB loan approval prior to year end, for example, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM's deadline."
"Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honoured to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world. Some 1,500,000 Saabs are on the road today and their proud owners would no doubt welcome the survival of this phenomenal brand", he added.
Spyker, which sold somewhere around 40 cars last year and recently decided to lay off a third of its 135-strong workforce in The Netherlands and move production to the UK, is said to be backed by Russian banker Vladimir Antonov and his Convers Group, which has a 30 percent stake in the Dutch company.
The sports car maker said that the deal would "add a lot of value to both parties", with Spyker benefiting from SAAB's global distribution network of 1100 dealers, its facilities and R&D capabilities, and the Swedes from financial backing and what the Dutch company describes as "an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand."
"Our company motto is nulla tenaci invia est via - for the tenacious no road is impassable," said Spyker's boss. "And we intend to remain true to that throughout these negotiations as we bid to secure Saab's future and revive the company," Muller concluded.