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Saab nearly sold for 1 krona to Koenigsegg

Swedish sports carmaker Koenigsegg was close to acquire GM’s loss-making Saab unit for the symbolic sum of 1 krona.

 Related news:
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Formula One boss launches new Saab bid
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GM wants $450 million for Saab

The consortium led by Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive failed to acquire Saab from its owner General Motors in November. The group withdrew its bid after months of wrangling, citing costly delays in the transaction.

In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang industrial designer Bård Eker, one of the partners of Koenigsegg Group, said they were close to acquire Saab for the symbolic sum of 1 krona (0.15 dollar).

“We were to pay one krona for Saab” he said, explaining that massive financial muscles would be needed to keep productions running. “Obviously it wouldn’t have been one krona in reality”.

Saab is expected to post a loss of 3 billion kronor ($430 million) for last year. It last made a profit in 2001, the only year it was in the black in almost two decades of GM ownership.

General Motors chief executive Ed Whitacre said earlier this week that his company wanted 450 million dollars for Saab. But the real costs are in development expenditures and merely to keep the company alive.

Last Friday GM decided on the liquidation of Saab. None of the bidders for the ailing Saab unit had submitted an offer that was "financially better for us than the wind-down", GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said.

Still, Saab can be sold and saved. A group comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital submitted on Wednesday a revised bid and General Motors is said to be considering an offer by the Dutch sportscar maker Spyker "very seriously".

Koenigsegg Automotive AB was founded in 1994 in Sweden by Christian von Koenigsegg, with the intention of producing a world-class supercar. Norwegian designer and entrepreneur Bård Eker is currently the largest owner with 49 percent, according to Wikipedia.

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 January 2010 12:02)


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