GM's sale of Saab moves forward
18 August 2009

General Motors has finalised an agreement to sell 100 per cent of Saab to Koenigsegg Automotive.

The agreement comes despite uncertainty concerning the level of support for the bid from Koenigsegg's backers, after a preliminary deal for the sale was struck in June.

Questions regarding the financing of the deal remain, however, and a statement from GM Europe was vague about the agreed terms beyond calling the deal a "stock purchase agreement".

The Swedish government is negotiating with Koenigsegg on a possible guarantee for a loan to Saab from the European Investment Fund, a pre-condition for the deal.

"This contract is an important step in the journey to a potential deal," said Carl-Peter Forster, head of GM Europe, in a statement. "The closure of the deal is contingent on the funding commitment from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed by the Swedish government."

Koenigsegg spokeswoman Halldora von Koenigsegg told the Reuters news agency that the firm expected to close the deal within about a month, while GM said it saw the deal closing by the end of the year.

"As part of the proposed transaction, GM and Saab will continue to share technology and services during a defined time period. This will be managed through licenses and service agreements," GM Europe said.

Christian von Koenigsegg also hinted at his plans for the future of Saab, saying: "We have now concluded another important step in realizing the great potential of Saab.

"Our plan is to transform Saab into a stand-alone vibrant entrepreneurial company and make it sustainable by making it profitable. We will revive Saab’s Swedish heritage of ecological sensitivity, safety, design innovation and fun-to-drive experience."

Swedish daily Dagens Industri reported that Koenigsegg Chairman Augie Fabela said three billion Swedish crowns (£251.6m) of financing were still required in addition to the EIB loan.

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