October 21, 2011 / 12:45 AM / 8 years ago

Car enthusiast Mascioli says determined to save Saab

AMSTERDAM, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Race car aficionado Alex Mascioli, whose U.S. firm is investing $70 million in the Dutch owner of Swedish auto maker Saab, said on Friday he was willing to use his resources to save the firm from a possible bankruptcy.

Saab owner Swedish Automobile SWAN.AS has accepted a $10 million equity investment and a $60 million loan from Mascioli’s North Street Capital LP, a U.S. private equity and hedge fund manager, to fund its ongoing reorganisation. [ID:nL5E7LK3UG]

“I expect the deal to go ahead. I’m willing to do what I can with my resources for Saab,” North Street Managing Partner Mascioli, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Saab is an undervalued asset from which Mascioli expects to make a profit, he said, adding that North Street had the capacity to take over Saab should it wish to do.

Chinese auto firms Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co and Pangda Automobile Trade Co (601258.SS) have agreed to invest 245 million euros in Saab. Youngman is also behind a bridge loan to Saab that has been partly paid out.

But on Friday Swedish Automobile Chief Executive Victor Muller said the two firms had made a full-blown takeover offer for Saab, casting doubt on their appetite to press ahead with the original deal. [ID:nL5E7LK693]

“It’s Victor’s call. He has put a lot of effort into trying to save this company. At the moment there is a deal with the Chinese,” Mascioli said. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Gary Hill)

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