Report: GM could sell Saab for $1; Ecclestone-backed Genii to make new offer
A consortium backed by both businessman Lars Carlstrom and Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone says that it plans to make a new offer for Saab that shows its ability to support the brand for an extended-range period. The offer is said to include a nominal $1 offer for Saab, which would spare GM the $145 million task of shutting the brand down, as well as the long-range plans to keep the small Swedish automaker running.
The consortium - which is a little confusing in terms of the number of players involved - includes Carlstrom and Ecclestone, as well as Luxembourg-based Genii Capital. The offer is said to be capable of providing more long-term growth opportunities for Saab than Spyker's offer. GM has indicated that Spyker's cash offer is acceptable, but that the supercar builder would not be capable of running Saab for the long term.
"We are trying to reach agreement with GM on several outstanding issues," Spyker CEO Victor Muller told Dow Jones Newswires. He said that Spyker expects a final offer from GM later this week.
Last weekend, more than 5,000 Saab fans across the world staged various protests and "support Saab" rallies, the largest of which drew about 1,500 enthusiasts to Saab's Trollhattan, Sweden, hometown.
Whether the rallies will have any affect on GM's decision to sell the brand is unclear. Genii says that GM's liquidator has not begun to dismantle Saab's factories. The automaker will continue to produce cars through at least the end of next week, according to IF Metall Union chief Paul Aukerlund, and dealers in Europe are still instructed to accept orders for new Saabs.