Stryker deal to fund Saab falls through

City A.M. Reporter
A RESCUE deal for Swedish carmaker Saab involving China’s Hawtai Motor Group collapsed yesterday, leaving owner Spyker chasing new funding as it attempts to restart production at the firm.

Hawtai and Dutch-listed Spyker agreed a deal last week to pump €150m (£131m) into the loss-making brand and produce a new model in China. But this was spoiled by a failure to get necessary approvals.

Spyker said it was continuing talks with Hawtai, while another Chinese company, sports utility vehicle maker Great Wall Motor, was also talking to the Dutch company about a possible tie-up.

Other possible investors include Vladimir Antonov, who is still interested in the troubled brand, a spokesman for the Russian businessman and former Spyker shareholder said.

Tiny supercar maker Spyker has struggled to turn Saab around in the year since it bailed out the former General Motors unit. GM retains an interest in Saab through preference shares.

Loss-making Saab has run out of cash to pay its bills and several suppliers have stopped delivering parts, halting production at Saab’s Trollhatten plant for most of last month.

All of Saab’s employees, including those who are not working due to the production shutdown, are being paid, a spokesman said yesterday.

Spyker’s chief executive Victor Muller declined to comment on the next steps for Saab, but said:?“I’m always optimistic, and this is no exception.”

Spyker’s Amsterdam-listed shares closed 14.5 per cent down at €3.59 yesterday.