Saab boss spurned full Chinese takeover bid

Saab Automobile CEO Viktor Muller has turned down a full-blown takeover bid from Chinese auto dealer Pang Da and Youngman Lotus Automobile.

After the recent twists and counter-twists of the Saab takeover saga the shunning of the offer by Saab comes as a bit of a surprise for the cash-strapped Swedish firm.
Muller told Reuters "the token takeover offer was unacceptable because it would trigger every conceivable change of control clause and that would possibly mean the end of Saab" - both Pang Da and Youngman Lotus failed to comment on Muller's reaction to the takeover bid.

Although the Saab head-honcho wasn't keen to disclose the value of the offer, company man Muller is confident Saab can continue without needing a massive injection of cash from the two Chinese firms, adding that as the two Chinese car giants were still interested in Saab, they should stick to terms of a deal signed in July upping both company's stake to a combined 53.9%.

But now there looks to be yet another night in shining armour ready to stump up the cash to save the ailing Swedish firm.

Unperturbed by Saab's fiscal failings and rollercoaster relationship with the Chinese, former NASCAR racer Alex Mascioli is stepping in with a $70 million deal that will see his U.S. investment firm, North Street Capital keeping the lights on at Saab.

"I expect the deal to go ahead. I'm willing to do what I can with my resources for Saab", said Mascioli.

But the injection of cash from the American comes after Saab's reorganisation team told the Swedish courts to pull the plug on the company's bankruptcy protection only hours after North Street Capital laid the money on the table.

Muller believes the Saab bankruptcy situation will be resolved by next week and that the Swedish government would be highly unlikely to takeover struggling Saab.

The swoop from Mascioli could put the Chinese deal on unstable ground however. But according to Muller "there's always a plan B," if the Chinese firms were to walk out on a deal, adding it would be revealed "only if we resort to it."

Will the Chinese walk out? What will the Swedish courts do? And will Mascioli make a full-on bid for Saab? We'll just have to sit tight for the next installment of the best automotive soap around!
Read Full Story Click here to comment