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"Shocked" Brightwell drops Saab bid, blames GM intransigence

Nearly three months on the Saab story is the same: company makes a bid, General Motors knocks it back. But this time, the latest round of corporate "He said/She said" puts Turkey's Brightwell Holdings on the other side of the table instead of a Chinese company. Brightwell was the other publicly identified bidder for Saab that pledged to make a bid, along with Chinese concern Youngman.

Brightwell blames GM "intransigence," a familiar epithet by now, has scuppered the possibility of a deal. GM says that's not the case, rather that a deal for Saab can't include any of the technology licensed from GM. Brightwell believed that that condition only applied to Chinese buyers, since GM's position that it didn't want to compete with another company using its intellectual property was always taken in reference to interest from companies like Youngman and Hawtei.

If GM's position is that it won't license its technology to anyone anywhere, that could alter the landscape for the six to 14 bidders rreported to be hovering over Saab's remains. Based on Youngman's last statements, it should still be in the mix, though: it pledged to make a bid for Saab that avoids GM-developed vehicles like the 9-5 and 9-4X and restarts the brand with the new 9-3 on Saab's Phoenix architecture.

Brightman hasn't ruled itself out completely yet. Having spent "millions of euros" on its bid, a firm partner said that if GM is open to discussions then he "will jump on a plane and visit them in Detroit."

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