January 23, 2010 / 2:41 PM / 9 years ago

Spyker "well-positioned" to buy Saab: Genii Capital

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Spyker Cars NV is “well-positioned” to purchase ailing Swedish carmaker Saab after negotiations with owner General Motors in Stockholm, a spokesman for rival bidder Genii Capital said on Saturday.

The SAAB logo is seen at Patrick Saab in Schaumburg, Illinois, November 24, 2009. REUTERS/John Gress

“We believe that Spyker is well-positioned in this deal and I would expect an outcome early next week,” said Lars Carlstrom, a spokesman for Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii, whose bid is backed by Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone.

Saab faces an uncertain future after GM last week named two wind-down supervisors to take control of the Swedish brand while it continued to review offers from an unknown number of bidders.

But GM has made progress toward a deal to sell its Swedish unit to Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker after a meeting in the Swedish capital on Friday, a Spyker executive and a second person with direct knowledge of the talks said.

A resolution to the latest round of talks between GM and Spyker could come as early as Monday, said the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private.

Bloomberg reported that Spyker had offered GM a combination of cash and preferred shares in a new Saab worth $500 million and said the two sides were in continued negotiations on other aspects of a deal including production plans.

Carlstrom said that Spyker was further along in talks with GM over a possible purchase of Saab than his own group as the Dutch firm taken a head-start of at least four weeks in completing due diligence work toward a deal.

“We would need a longer a due diligence period than Spyker — that would be the main reason for choosing Spyker (as a buyer for Saab),” Carlstrom said in a telephone interview.

A possible obstacle to the deal, cited in Swedish media reports on Saturday, would be a refusal from the Swedish state to guarantee financing for a purchase of Saab.

But Carlstrom said the Swedish government had been acting “very well” in negotiations and would not impede the sale process, though it remained unclear whether the European Investment Bank would provide loans to the buyer.

Should the deal with Spyker fall through, Genii and partners remained at the ready to pursue talks with GM, Carlstrom said.

“We are here and we have the resources,” he said.

Editing by Toby Chopra

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