The previously announced deal between Saab-Spyker and Chinese automaker Hawtai Motor Group is apparently no more. The joint venture agreement, which would have sold a 29.9-percent stake in Saab to Hawtai, was canceled because Hawtai couldn’t obtain the consent of all share- and stakeholders.
It seemed like the end of the tunnel was in sight for Saab and Spyker. After weeks of halted Saab production lines, the companies had managed to secure $222 million in funding through the Hawtai deal. Moreover, the agreement would have helped Saab manufacture and market its vehicles in Asia. Not yet ready to throw in the towel, parent company Spyker says Saab may try to renegotiate a deal with Hawtai, or perhaps enter into an agreement with a different Chinese company.
Saab and Spyker are still waiting for a $43 million drawdown loan from the European Investment Bank, as well as waiting for permission from the EIB to perform a “sale and leaseback” maneuver on some Saab facilities. Saab desperately needs a cash infusion to be able to pay suppliers and resume production at its factories. Key suppliers stopped delivering parts because they claimed Saab owed millions of dollars on overdue bills.
The company says it hopes to restart production, “depending on the outcome of discussions with its suppliers.” That vague answer implies that end ofSaab’s problems may be nowhere in sight.