New bidder in the Saab saga shows its hand

Less than 24 hours after Chinese firm Youngman reportedly placed a bid for Saab, another interested party has apparently joined the race to snap up the bankrupt carmaker.

Mao Hai, vice president of Beijing Automotive Investment BAIC, told the website that the Chinese automotive giant is keen on buying up what remains of Saab possibly in a joint deal with Panasonic, to produce electric cars.

”Yes, we are considering it, but it’s also a rather complicated business,” he said.

It would not be the first time that BAIC has shown an interest in the Swedish firm, after it purchased tools for older Saab models in 2009.

So far however there has been no official word from Hans Bergqvist and Anne-Marie Pouteaux, the official receivers dealing with the Saab case.

“As we have previously made clear, we will not comment on details of individual stakeholders or bid during the sale process.”

According to the financial newspaper Dagens Industri, Youngman’s bid is between 2.2 and 3.2 billion kronor ($327 – $475 million).

Representatives from the Chinese company are reported to be in Sweden already to begin negotiations, while there have been no indication yet of what BAIC may be prepared to pay for Saab.

Much will depend on whether either of the interested parties would want to buy the carmaker in its entirety or just certain parts of it and it is still unclear even if a decision were to be reached soon, how quickly production could restart at the plant.

Deliveries have now been at a standstill for nearly a year and it would take a while to get the process up and running again.

”Even if we were to play with the idea that things could be resolved in a couple of weeks, production not be started earlier than mid-summer,” said Fredrik Sidahl, general manager of the branch organisation representing car suppliers, FKG.

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