November 24, 2009 / 5:59 PM / 10 years ago

Sweden says private buyer only option for Saab

STOCKHOLM, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Sweden effectively ruled out state aid for GM’s [GM.UL] loss-making Saab unit on Tuesday after tiny luxury car firm Koenigsegg pulled out of a bid for one of the Nordic country’s best-known automobile brands.

“You can’t, by state aid, keep a company ongoing, if you don’t have any chance for a competitive company,” Joran Hagglund, state secretary at Sweden’s Industry Ministry, told reporters.

“That can only be assured by a private owner who really is familiar with the market conditions.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Koenigsegg pulled out of its planned purchase of Saab, which has estimated it would lose around 6 billion Swedish crowns ($865 million) in the 2008-2009 period. ($1=6.934 Swedish Crown) (Reporting by Nick Vinocur; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter) ((simon.c.johnson@reuters.com; Reuters Messaging: simon.c.johnson.reuters.com@reuters.net; tel: +46 8 700 1045))

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