ZURICH, Switzerland (June 16, 2009) - General Motors Corp. and Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB have signed a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of GM's Saab Automobile AB unit.
The sale, which will secure Saab's future, is expected to close by the end of the third quarter. According to GM, the deal includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB-a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB-to fund Saab's operations and product program investments. The company said it has plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development.
Koenigsegg, founded in 1994, is based in Ãngelholm, Sweden.
Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20. The tentative agreement is key to Saab successfully emerging from its reorganization process, GM said.
"This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations," said GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster. "Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company."
He cited Koenigsegg Group's "unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg's proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner," as providing "the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors."
As part of the proposed transaction, GM said it will continue to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period. Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in the Saab production facility in TrollhÃ¤ttan, Sweden.
Jan Ã ke Jonsson, managing director of Saab Automobile AB, said the proposed deal "will enable us to maximize the brand's potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today's announcement is great news for Saab's current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe."
GM said the sale is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to GM.