After months of rollercoaster negotiations, Dutch sports car maker Spyker has finally sealed a deal with General Motors to buy Saab for $74 million cash and $326 million deferred shares. Under its new owner, Saab will now be officially called Saab Spyker Automobiles NV.
Spyker, itself not profitable, only rolls out several dozen handmade supercars every year, and has borrowed heavily for this purchase. It has took a loan of up to 4 billion kronor ($550 million) from the European Investment Bank, backed by the Swedish government and subject to approval by the European Commission. There’s also “Back-up financing” in the form of a 150 million-euro loan ($212 million) from investment firm GEM Global Yield Fund Ltd.
In return, Spyker hopes to benefit from Saab’s technical resources and its distribution network. Now that Spyker has “won” the battle to acquire the Swedish marque, the hard part lies ahead. Saab has not been profitable since GM bought it in for $600 million back in 1989 and it remains to be seen how Spyker plans to turn this around. Much will hinge on how the company’s new products – the new 9-5 is out, while the 9-4X is very far into its development phase. The new 9-3 is said to be set for a 2012 debut.
“Marginal players will continue to be marginalized. We cannot build it on hopes and dreams,” Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said about this deal. After pouring out so much money to get his bride, that’s the last thing Spyker CEO Victor Muller wants to hear.