Originaly, Spyker had set a deadline of 5:00 PM EST today for General Motors to make a decision on their revised deal. Now, Spyker has decided to extend that deadline.
The deadline has been extended indefinitely, to allow for negotiations to continue. This gives a bit of hope that Saab may indeed be sold rather than killed. The Swedish government, however, says that there’s only a “very, very slim” chance of saving Saab. Nonetheless, hang on in there Saab, we need you alive.
Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s enterprise minister, said “We hope, naturally, that even if it is a very, very slim thread of hope, there is a chance of finding some kind of solution to the question of Saab.”
Spyker’s new deal doesn’t require accelerated approval for a loan from the European Investment Bank, a big plus. General Motors’ main concern, however, is intellectual property.
It’s also unclear which of Spyker’s shareholders is involved in the Saab deal. Victor R. Muller wouldn’t confirm or deny that it’s the largest shareholder, the Convers Group, run by Russian tycoon Alexander Antonov. He did, however, deny that it was the second largest shareholder, Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development.
Spyker has got competition though. It was previously said that Merbanco and a Swedish consortium were bidding, and now, it appears that Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is interested too, though there’s no word on whether or not they actually placed a bid.
Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is an Indian truck manufacturer. They are planning to bring their TR40 pickup to the US, but they haven’t got any infrastructure established. All they have is a connection with Navistar International, who do business in the US. The purchase of Saab would help them establish an infrastructure, and would give them a sizable dealer network to work with, so their interest makes sense. The only thing is, their interest was uncovered on Twitter, which seems a little odd.
Besides these parties, unions in Sweden have written a letter to GM, demanding that they spend more time considering options besides the shut down of Saab.
It’s good to see more and more parties interested in the survival of Saab. I wish Saab all the best.