Chinese suitors hope to finalize Saab deal
Chinese car distributor Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. hope to sign a definitive deal to acquire Sweden's Saab Automobile AG by November 25.
The two Chinese companies have renewed the memorandum of understanding they signed last month with Saab owner Swedish Automobile N.V. after it expired on November 15, Pang Da said in a statement.
The renewed agreement will remain valid until November 25. "All parties signing the memorandum of understanding have also agreed to seek to finalize and sign a share purchase agreement on or before November," Pang Da said in the statement.
Pang Da and Youngman signed an agreement last month to buy Saab for 100 million euros (863 million yuan), but deal met strong objection from Saab's previous owner, General Motors.
GM threatened to veto the Saab sale on the grounds that the deal would hurt its existing relationships in China and its competitive position in other markets.
The U.S. automaker owns preference shares in Saab. It also licenses technology and supplies 9-4X vehicles to Saab.
GM continues to oppose the rescue deal, Swedish business daily Dagens Industri reported.
"Saab and Youngman can do whatever they think is best for the company," the paper quoted GM spokesman James Cain saying. "But if it is a 100 percent takeover of Saab, they are going to do it without the cars we deliver, the 9-4X, and without GM's technology."
Saab's owner, Swedish Automobile, did not respond to requests for comment from Automotive News Europe.