Henderson's exit related to Saab's future; potential buyer latest
2 December 2009

The removal of GM president Fritz Henderson last night could have been connected to his desire to see Saab closed, according to reports. Henderson is known to have considered it necessary to close Saab, a viewpoint at odds with the rest of the GM board.

GM's decision to seek a buyer for Saab is believed to be motivated by the huge costs associated with shutting a car maker down.

Yesterday it was reported that there are four interested bidders for Saab.

However, US private investment firm Merbanco Merchant Banking has already been ruled out by GM, while Chinese car maker BAIC is believed to only be interested in buying the 9-3 and previous model 9-5 production lines. GM will not want to sell Saab in its entirety to a Chinese firm, as it would mean handing over some of its intellectual property to a potential future rival.

Other firms and investors are said to be interested in Saab, including Dutch supercar maker Spyker Cars and its Russian owner, Converse Bank, and US financier Ira Rennert and his Renco Group.

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GM has said it will evaluate potential bids between now and the end of December but if it is unable to find a "suitable arrangement" for Saab by then, it would "will begin an orderly wind down" of the global Saab business.

A Saab spokesman insisted that reports that a deal could be brokered in just two weeks were true.

"We are confident," Saab spokesman Eric Geers told Automotive News. "There is serious interest from buyers."

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