Spyker, Zhejiang Youngman plan to build a luxury SUV and Saab-based vehicles

Article by Anita Panait, on August 28, 2012

Spyker will create two joint ventures with China's Zhejiang Youngman to build Saab-based vehicles and a luxury sports utility vehicle under the terms of a framework agreement that will see Youngman gain a 29.9 percent stake in the carmaker. Youngman was one of the Chinese investors that Spyker approached in the past when it was looking for money to restore the Saab brand under its ownership.

The deal with Youngman, however, failed to push through after former Saab owner General Motors declined to approve the sale, eventually resulting in Saab being declared as bankrupt in December 2011. Under the terms of the deal between Spyker and Youngman, they will develop a range of upscale cars based on the Saab Phoenix platform.

Youngman owns this license. Spyker will hold just a 20 percent stake while Youngman will own 80 percent of the stock in the brand dubbed as Spyker Phoenix. Both companies will also develop a luxury Spyker SUV based on the D8 Peking-to-Paris concept model, which was unveiled at the Geneva auto show in 2006. In a statement, Spyker said Youngman would invest EUR25 million in the venture, resulting in 75-percent stake. Meanwhile, Spyker would contribute the technology and retain 25 percent of the holdings.

Spyker chief executive Victor Muller said in the statement that the framework agreement will enable Youngman and Spyker to lay the foundation for an intense cooperation, in which the companies will pursue the objectives they had when they were forging a cooperation as partners in Saab Automobile AB.

Muller said both companies share the vision on how to shape Spyker's future as partners going forward. Aside from the two joint ventures, Youngman will pay EUR6.7 million for a 29.9-percent equity stake in Spyker and make a shareholder loan of EUR3.3 million to the Dutch carmaker.

In January 26, 2010, GM disclosed that it reached an agreement to sell Saab to Spyker subject to regulatory and government approval. The sale was finalized on February 23, 2010. Under the deal, GM would still supply Saab with engines and transmissions, as well as completed vehicles.

Saab halted production in May 2011 when it effectively lost the ability to pay its suppliers and its employees. Spyker and former Saab CEO Victor Muller had tried to implement a rescue agreement with investors from Russia, Middle East and China, including Zhejiang Youngman and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co Ltd. The rescue deal with Youngman, however, failed to push through after GM, Saab’s former owner, declined to approve the sale. This eventually led to Saab declaring bankruptcy in December 2011.

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Topics: spyker, saab

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