Two new potential buyers for Saab have already emerged just days after the collapse of the sale of the troubled car maker to the Koenigsegg group.
According to reports in the Swedish press, both Beijing Automotive (BAIC) and Wyoming-based merchant bank Merbanco are now seriously investigating buying up the ailing Swedish brand.
Both companies have previously shown interest in Saab; Merbanco was among the last three bidders this summer, when GM chose Koenigsegg.
Beijing Auto was a minority partner in the Koenigsegg bid and, as Autocar reported, it was keen to restart production of the outgoing 9-5 in China.
Christopher Johnson, owner of Merbanco, is self-confessed Saab enthusiast and his father, a partner in Merbanco, founded AGCO, which was involved in a number of company turnarounds, including Massey Ferguson.
Any BAIC bid could run into significant hurdles, according to other reports in the Swedish press.
The Götbergs Posten is claiming that the Koenigsegg bid collapsed partly because of worries about BAIC getting hold of GM’s technology. Saab’s revival centers on the launch of the new 9-5 range, which is based on GM’s latest Epsilon 2 platform.
It seems unlikely that GM would be willing to let BAIC take over Saab, particularly as it was concerns about technology transfer that helped scupper the deal to sell Vauxhall/Opel to Magna, which was backed by a Russian state bank.
But one positive for Saab appears to have come for the European Investment Bank, from which Saab is receiving a loan. The EIB has reportedly said any loan previously agreed with Saab can be transferred to its new owner.