Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra is close to sealing a deal to buy the remnants of collapsed Swedish car group Saab, marking his latest attempt to accelerate his firm Mahindra & Mahindra’s global expansion.
Mahindra & Mahindra is India’s leading sport utility vehicle (SUV) maker by sales. He plans to buy a majority stake in the parent company that owns Saab’s brand, according to documents filed in a Swedish court.
The once-premium Swedish car maker – said to be a favourite of academics and environmentalists – collapsed in 2011 following years of financial difficulties.
The group was rescued in 2012 by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Hong Kong firm that attempted to relaunch Saab as an electric car manufacturer, before itself running into financial trouble.
Mahindra is now set to take a majority stake in Nevs, therefore purchasing the Saab brand, the court documents suggest. A spokesman for Mahindra declined to comment.
Mahindra first tried to buy the embattled Swedish company two years ago, as part of ambitious plans to expand into western markets.
He has made a number of attempts to acquire upscale global brands, including a failed bid for British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin in 2012, and a successful $466m (£297m) deal for Korean SUV-maker Ssangyong in 2010.
Mahindra also tried to buy luxury car and SUV-maker Jaguar Land Rover in 2009, before ultimately losing out to Indian giant Tata.