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Saab suitors regroup after buyer pulls plug on deal

November 27, 2009|Bloomberg News

Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Merbanco Inc. and Renco Group Inc. have made approaches about General Motors Co.'s Saab unit after the collapse of a sale to Koenigsegg Group, two people familiar with the situation said.

No written proposals have been submitted, and any new bids or other options for the Swedish unit will be reviewed by Detroit-based GM's board at a meeting next week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.

Koenigsegg announced Tuesday that it had pulled out of talks to acquire Saab, saying it ran out of time to complete the transaction. Beijing Automotive was a partner in the Swedish investor group.

While GM directors might opt to keep Saab, as they did with the Opel division this month, GM has a contingency plan that calls for winding down the brand, people familiar with the plan have said.

Beijing Automotive said Wednesday that it would "cautiously" reconsider plans to buy a stake in Saab, and Merbanco President Christopher Johnston said Thursday that the investor group would be willing to help Saab. Merbanco was said to be among suitors that lost the bidding to Koenigsegg.

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