It had been reported that SAIC had quietly taken a stake in Saab in conjunction with the Koenigsegg Group. However, it's been confirmed that Beijing Automotive -- which also recently made a play for Opel -- has grabbed a share of the Trollhätten pie.
BAIC provided the $400 million difference in cost that Koenigsegg needed to complete the sale and the final financial hurdle is for the Swedish government to guarantee a $600 million loan from the European Investment Bank to Koenigsegg.
Those kinds of numbers mean that Saab will be more expensive than Aston Martin, which might sound a little odd -- especially for a company that sold just 93,000 cars last year. But the tie to BAIC -- and Russia, Augie Fabela, a cell-phone company magnate -- could open up two enormous markets that will give Saab access to market numbers that could justify its purchase price and existence. Full press release from Koenigsegg after the jump.
Koenigsegg Group AB signs MOU with Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd (BAIC) regarding SAAB Automobile AB
Koenigsegg Group AB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. ("BAIC") to explore growth opportunities in the Chinese and international markets for the products of SAAB Automobile and BAIC.
Under the terms of the MOU, BAIC would become a non-controlling minority shareholder in Koenigsegg Group. Koenigsegg Group will own 100 per cent of SAAB Automobile AB. The intention is to conclude an agreement later this year. Due to confidentiality agreements signed, further facts cannot be discussed at this time. The Swedish Government has been fully briefed on the MOU.
"This is an important step on the road to a new SAAB Automobile. We have a solid business plan, an important partnership and we are now in a position to go ahead without any governmental financing," said Christian von Koenigsegg, CEO of Koenigsegg Group AB.
Koenigsegg Group now focuses on the ongoing discussions with the Swedish National Debt Office about the government guarantee for the loan with the EIB that SAAB Automobile has applied for.