Mon, Nov 07, 2011 - Page 10 News List

GM mulls blocking sale of Saab to Chinese companies

AFP, NEW YORK

US automaker General Motors (GM) said on Saturday that it might block the sale of Saab to the two Chinese companies that are aiming to buy the insolvent Swedish automaker and provide it with substantial long-term funding.

“We have many unanswered questions about the transaction,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said, referring to the proposed US$142 million sale announced on Oct. 28 of Saab to Pang Da Automobile Trade Co (龐大汽貿集團) and Youngman Lotus Automobile (青年蓮花汽車).

ADVERSE EFFECTS

“GM would not be able to support a change in the ownership of Saab which could negatively impact GM’s existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect GM’s interests worldwide,” Cain said.

The Chinese companies last Monday said they would inject US$855 million into Saab in a bid to revitalize the company, which GM last year offloaded to Dutch firm Swedish Automobile (Swan) — then known as Spyker — for US$400 million.

OPEN TO DISCUSSION

The Pang Da-Youngman buyout requires approval from several parties, most notably GM, Chinese authorities, the European Investment Bank and the Swedish debt office.

“If our concerns can be addressed, that may make it possible for us to continue as a supplier to Saab,” Cain said, alluding to concerns from the US automaker about its technology going to China.

However, GM was “very much open” to additional discussions about the deal, he said.

“Given the time that has passed since the transaction was announced, we felt it necessary to communicate our position at this point in time,” he added.

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