Sino-Japanese investment group inks deal to buy Saab

Article by Anita Panait, on June 13, 2012

An investment group comprised of Japanese and Chinese companies has reached an agreement to acquire Saab Automobile, a source privy with the matter told Bloomberg News. The group is led by Sun Investment, a Japanese investment firm, and National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based builder of renewable-energy power plants.

 Saab's bankruptcy administrators Anne-Marie Pouteaux and Hans Bergqvist disclosed in a statement that the automaker has been sold and the buyer will be known at a press conference today. Saab has stopped producing vehicles since 2011 after an initial production stoppage in March 2011.

The company, which builds the 9-5 sedan and 9-4X crossover vehicle, was declared insolvent at the end of 2011, dangling SEK13 billion in debts, around SEK2.2 billion of which is owed to the Swedish Debt Office. The company, which has yet to post a profit in two decades, was acquired by General Motors in 2000 and then by Spyker NV in 2010.

The Saab administrators revealed early this year that around half a dozen parties expressed interest in acquiring the company. Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile disclosed in February 2012 that it was holding talks with the administrators.

According to a person privy with the matter, Zhejiang Youngman offered SEK4 billion to acquire Saab.  The Sun Investment group, meanwhile, created a company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB with the sole purpose of acquiring Saab's assets.

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