It's been a long road for SAAB, and even though we don't know what the future has in store for the quirky brand, for the time being, the Swedish automaker has been saved as General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the sale.
"Today's announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM," said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.
"General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome," Smith said.
Very few details were released on the agreement, but in a joint statement, the two parties said that Spyker intends to form a new company called Saab Spyker Automobiles and that the Swedish government is currently reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank.
GM said that the SAAB sale is expected to be finalized in mid-February, adding that the previously announced wind down activities at SAAB will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.
Citing "people familiar with the matter", the Wall Street Journal reported today that the tiny Dutch sports carmaker agreed to buy SAAB from General Motors for around $74 million in cash while the American firm will also receive preferred shares in the newly formed company under the name Saab Spyker Automobiles.
General Motors did not respond to Wall Street Journal's report, but it did note in the press release that "the terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time".
Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe, said: "Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand. We've worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I'm very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward."