Spyker bags GM's Saab brand for $500 million

Spyker, the Netherlands-based sport car specialist's dogged perseverance to acquire GM's Swedish brand Saab, finally paid off yesterday, when it closed the deal for $500 million.

Spyker, the Zeewolde-based sports car maker that employs 110 people making a dozen hand-crafted sport cars annually, will be acquiring GM's Saab brand that employs 3,400 people and manufactures over 90,000 cars annually as well as has dealership of 220 in the US and 1,100 worldwide.

Under the complicated deal hammered out yesterday, Spyker will pay $74 million in two installments-$50 million on the date of completion of the transaction, expected to close by 15 February and $24 million on 15 July upon completion of the deal.

GM will get $326 million in preferred shares in the new company that will be formed and named Saab Spyker Automobiles following the transaction. GM's holding will represent less than 1 per cent of the voting rights in Saab Spyker Automobiles.

Spyker will also guarantee up to $10 million in Saab debts owed to GM's financing subsidiary, GMAC Financial Services, and the Detroit-based GM will get to keep $100 million of Saab's existing liquidity.

Last month, GM, which had been trying to sell Saab for over a year, announced that it would close the loss-making brand after talks with Spyker collapsed. (See: GM to close Saab as talks with Spyker collapse)