Saab-Spyker is Go: EIB reportedly approves 400M euro loan, Spyker shareholders agree to Saab purchase
Spyker-Saab is reportedly passing "Go" and collecting $547 million while they're at. According to Automotive News, the €400 million loan courtesy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has received final approval. There's even more good Saab-related news (that almost feels weird to type) – Spyker shareholders have approved the "we're buying Saab" deal. The large loan is especially big news to Holland-based Spyker and Saab's worldwide legion of rabid fans, for it was essentially the last piece of the puzzle standing in the way of – as Reuters of all publications points out – "[combining] two money-losing enterprises."
Now that they have the loan and the shareholders' blessings, Spyker-Saab is looking to get their fledgling company list on both the London and Stockholm stock exchanges. Spyker CEO Victor Muller was asked if listing the company on the two new exchanges would make it easier to raise cash (duh), Muller replied that the end goal was to be "closer to investors." If we were flip, we might modify that to read "closer to investors' wallets," but we'll just leave it alone and hope that all this money goes into making the next 9-3 the very best Swedish hatchback it can be!
One last thing – perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves by referring to the new company as Spyker-Saab. According to the Dutch supercar company's press release today, they have postponed changing their name from Spyker Cars N.V. to Saab Spyker Automobiles pending a trademark discussion with aircraft manufacturer Saab AB. That issue is expected to be resolved at the company's next annual meeting on April 22. Official press release after the jump.
[Sources: Reuters, Spyker, Automotive News – sub. req.]
EIB APPROVES LOAN TO SAAB AUTOMOBILE AB
ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (12 February, 2010) - The EIB has today approved a loan to Saab Automobile for €400 million. A statement on the EIB's website reads:
The EIB has confirmed the authorisation to conclude the EUR 400 million loan to SAAB Automobile AB in accordance with the terms and conditions approved by the Board of Directors on 21 October 2009 and to conclude the guarantee agreement with the Swedish National Debt Office, as the loan is subject to a state guarantee which the Swedish Government approved on 26 January 2010. The EU Commission approved the Swedish state-guarantee for the Bank's loan to SAAB on 8 February 2010.
Victor Muller, Spyker CEO said: "We are extremely pleased with the decision by the EIB as this was a crucial component in enabling the acquisition of Saab to proceed. Months of hard work have paid off. We cannot wait to close this transaction now as soon as practically possible. We extend our gratitude to the EIB officials who have worked relentlessly to make this happen."
Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab CEO, said: "This represents another milestone along the path towards the creation of an independent Saab. This is very good news and everyone at Saab should feel very positive now."
In a separate development, Spyker shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting in Zeewolde today approved the intended transaction to acquire Saab. The proposal was carried with an overwhelming majority.
Victor Muller said: "Today's meeting went very smoothly and we spent a lot of time explaining the transaction in great detail. We also announced that we are currently investigating the possibilities of listing Spyker at the London Stock Exchange by means of a dual listing and possibly in the future in Stockholm, in which case the listing in Amsterdam would eventually be terminated. However, I stress that this is still in the investigation phase and no such decision has been made yet.
"We postponed the decision to change the name of Spyker Cars N.V. to Saab Spyker Automobiles because we need to reach agreement with Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab AB on the possible use of the Saab trademark in our corporate name. We expect this issue to be resolved at Spyker's Annual General Meeting, scheduled for April 22 2010."