As we reported earlier today, Genii Capital has entered the bidding war for Saab, taking the title of the newest last-last minute bidder for the Swedish brand. However, we’re getting reports that the Luxembourg-based investment firm isn’t alone in its attempt to acquire the brand and that Bernie Ecclestone is behind Genii’s bid.
For those of you keeping track, Ecclestone, 79, is a well-known second-hand car salesman turned Formula One tycoon, having made the racing series into a billion-dollar business since taking control of the television rights in 1981.
British-born Ecclestone is obviously a very talented businessman, having turned F1 a multi-billion-dollar event over the last coupe of decades. The question now is whether he will be able to translate his business smarts into turning Saab around. Obviously, neither Ecclestone nor Genii would bid on the Swedish automaker if they didn’t have a solid plan to do just that. Interestingly enough, what we know of their plan calls for bringing Saab to profitability by 2012 and doing so by moving only 105,000 cars. Ecclestone’s most recent venture is the purchase of the Queens Park Rangers, a second-tier professional London-based soccer team.
Around the same time as the Ecclestone-Genii bid was submitted, Spyker Cars has tendered a revision for its last-minute bid for Saab. As such, Spyker Cars is still very much in the fray at this point.
Another possibility is the liquidation of Saab. In fact, GM announced it would do just that when negotiations broke down with Spyker on December 20, 2009. The General has not made any announcements that would indicate a reversal of that plan. At this point, Saab’s fate is just as unpredictable as a wave in the middle of the ocean.[Source: Bloomberg]