According to a press release quoted in Dow Jones Newswires, the board of Saab Auto has decided to liquidate the company on Friday while GM is still weighing bids for the Swedish car maker. Stefan Lofven, the head of Swedish trade union IF Metall, had the following to say about the developments:
It is irresponsible of GM in this situation to act in two directions, both towards a sale and towards a wind-down.
This comes to us on the same day as GM’s statement (available after the break) that it has selected the firm AlixPatners as wind down supervisor to oversee the orderly wind down of Saab. GM expects the wind down process to take several months and will ensure that employees, dealers, and suppliers are “adequately protected.” To add more heat to the fire, GM confirmed in the same announcement that it has received several proposals for Saab – we’re guessing the revised bid from Spyker Cars plus the Genii Capital/Bernie Ecclestone offer – and that it’s continuing to evaluate these proposals. Interestingly, GM says that “This evaluation is not affected by the appointment of AlixPartners.”
For what it’s worth, IF Metall’s Lofven thinks that the Swedish government should influence the U.S. government – GM’s largest shareholder – on making a sale. As we found, Haakan Lind, a Swedish government spokesperson, said that a Swedish government delegation will meet with GM management in Detroit next week to discuss “questions and question marks around the potential sales process [of Saab].”
So there is only one thing clear regarding the brand that was born from jets… and that is that nothing is clear at this point. Saab is not quiet dead, but it’s future doesn’t’ look bright. We’ll keep you up to date as it all unfolds.
This post is part of the Saab Sales Saga series, where we document the ongoing mess of the sale and divestiture of Saab.[Source: Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal]
GM STATEMENT REGARDING SAAB
GM today confirmed it has selected AlixPartners to supervise the orderly wind down of Saab, and has requested approval of the selection by the appropriate authority in Sweden. The use of a wind down supervisor is a commonly-used process in Sweden and works in the interest of the shareholder.
The wind down process is expected to take several months, and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected. As stated previously, Saab customers can be assured that warranties will continue to be honored and that service and spare parts will continue to be available.
GM also confirmed that it has received several proposals for Saab and is continuing to evaluate these proposals. This evaluation is not affected by the appointment of AlixPartners.