Saab Auto to Be Sold to Chinese Investors to Save Carmaker

Saab Automobile’s parent announced a deal to sell the Swedish carmaker to two Chinese companies in an effort to save the cash-strapped automaker from bankruptcy.

Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. will purchase Saab for 100 million euros ($142 million), parent Swedish Automobile NV said in a statement today. The memorandum of understanding is valid until Nov. 15.

Saab, which has produced few cars since it first halted production in March because of a lack of money, avoided bankruptcy last month after a Swedish court granted the carmaker protection from creditors. Youngman and Pang Da had originally agreed to take a majority stake in Swedish Automobile before that agreement fell apart earlier this month.

“This is fantastic news,” Eric Geers, a Saab spokesman said in an interview. “Now we’re hoping for a stable period where we can start thinking about making cars again.”

Swedish Automobile surged as much as 36 cents, or 46 percent, to 1.14 euros and was up 33 percent as of 10:34 a.m. in Amsterdam trading. The stock has fallen 70 percent in 2011, valuing the Zeewolde, Netherlands-based company at 28.6 million euros.

Saab filed for protection from creditors in September, three months after Pang Da and Youngman agreed to buy a combined 53.9 percent stake in Swedish Automobile for 245 million euros.

Attorney Guy Lofalk, Saab’s court-appointed administrator, had applied to the Vaenersborg District Court in Sweden to terminate the restructuring of the carmaker. Lofalk has now withdrawn that request pending a final sale of the automaker, Saab said today.

Saab will discuss payment and delivery terms with suppliers with the aim to restart production “as soon as possible,” Geers said by phone.

The agreement must be approved by Chinese regulators, the Swedish government, the European Investment Bank and General Motors Co. (GM), Saab’s former owner.

--Tian Ying in Beijing, Liza Lin in Shanghai and Ola Kinnander in Stockholm. Editors: Chad Thomas, Chris Reiter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at ytian@bloomberg.net; Liza Lin in Shanghai at llin15@bloomberg.net; Ola Kinnander in Stockholm at okinnander@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net; Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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