Spyker's motto, written on all of its cars in Latin, is "Nulla tenaci invia est via." Translation: "For the tenacious, no road is impassable." And so here the Dutch company is, tenaciously chasing Saab, announcing in a press release that they have submitted a renewed offer to General Motors that addresses what are said to be eleven sticking points that scuttled an earlier agreement.
To be clear, we don't know what each of those eleven issues are. According to a report in a Swedish paper (translated), GM's man-in-Europe, Nick Reilly, called off the sale Friday morning, citing intellectual property fears regarding Spyker's Russian backer, and the desire for GM's board to be decisive on the matter of what would become of Saab. Spyker's statement mentions the need to receive approval for a European Investment Bank loan by the end of the year, but says it has found a solution to that need. One wonders how it could possibly address its Russian support, from Vladimir Antonov's Conven Group, in a way that might make GM happy. Either way, we should know soon whether the new proposal works, as Spyker has set a deadline of 5pm Eastern on Monday as its drop-dead date.
On a side note, Norway's Bard Eker has begun to share his take on what prevented Koenigsegg's attempt to purchase Saab (translated). Two of his points were that GM had made Saab too difficult to extract from the parent company and that Koenigsegg couldn't get GM to set prices for Saab parts. As the deal looked increasingly likely to go through, Eker says that GM wanted more money. This, however, happened before Whitacre, Jr. took the helm and apparently before indecisiveness became so frowned up by The General's leaders.
In the meantime, the Swedish government is reportedly conferring with GM reps to see what else might be done to prevent Saab from flat-lining for good. Is this an attempt by Spyker and/or the Swedish government to save face, or does this proposal truly eviscerate previous sticking points and clear the way for a reborn Saab? We're not sure, but while you (re)buckle your seatbelts, be sure to read Spyker's complete statement after the jump. Thanks to everyone for the tips!
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SPYKER CARS RENEWS OFFER FOR SAAB THAT REMOVES LAST HURDLES
ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (20 December, 2009) -Following the announcement on Friday that the intended sales terms of Saab Automobile AB between Spyker and General Motors (GM) could not be finalized, the Spyker leadership has submitted a renewed offer in the hopes of securing a future for Saab, its employees and the brand, despite the announcement that the winding down of Saab would begin.
Spyker CEO Victor R. Muller said today that an 11-point proposal had been submitted to GM, addressing each of the issues that arose during the due diligence process and that the renewed offer would remove each of the obstacles that were standing in the way of a swift transaction.
"We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer," said Muller.
"We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31st," said Muller.
"Despite our collective eleventh hour set-back, we are returning to the table with a renewed offer, that addresses every known issue brought to light during the initial negotiations and that has the full backing of the Saab Management. The new offer eliminates the need for an EIB loan approval prior to year end, for example, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM's deadline. Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honoured to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world. Some 1,500,000 Saabs are on the road today and their proud owners would no doubt welcome the survival of this phenomenal brand," he added.
In Spyker's view, the ownership of Saab by Spyker Cars would add a lot of value to both parties. For Spyker, Saab would bring a strong, global distribution network consisting of no less than 1100 dealers, state-of-the-art production facilities, a truly dedicated work force and solid engineering, sourcing and research & development capabilities. Likewise, Saab would receive the financial backing required to compete as a competitive global brand, along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand. Throughout these negotiations, both Spyker and Saab leadership have proven that they share a mutual vision for just such a partnership.
"Our company motto is nulla tenaci invia est via - for the tenacious no road is impassable," said Muller, "And we intend to remain true to that throughout these negotiations as we bid to secure Saabs future and revive the company."
The renewed Spyker offer is valid until 5pm (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday December 21, 2009.