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Saab now in Spyker’s web

Steve Dinneen
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THE long-anticipated sale of Saab could finally be completed this week.

Financial terms are believed to have been reached between General Motors and Dutch luxury car maker Spyker. The two sides are now thrashing out production and management issues before they can finalise the deal.

One possible stumbling block is the role Vladimir Antonov, Spyker’s Russian backer and chairman, would play in the company. GM would prefer he stood down before the deal was completed.

The Swedish government would also have to guarantee a £351m loan from the European Investment Bank.

Spyker will pay GM an estimated $75m (£47m) for Saab, in a deal that would thrust the Dutch firm into the mainstream car manufacturing market. GM will also keep a further $100m in Saab liquidity and take $325m in preferred shares in the new company.

GM lost $88bn between 2005 and 2008. It was bailed out by the US government in return for a pledge to restructure. It is cutting output in Europe by a fifth, and losing 8,300 jobs.

The American firm initially said it was considering several bids for the Saab. But Spyker edged into pole position, ahead of investment group Genii Capital.