The tempestuous affair that is Saab continues, with another Chinese suitor entering the picture to now make it a three-way deal. The Swedish automaker, owned by Spyker Cars, had been given a shot in the arm in May by Chinese car distributor Pang Da Automobile Trade, which pumped in money to restore Saab’s production and was looking to take a 24% equity stake in the latter.
Now, enter Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, better known as Youngman, which will form the third element in a joint venture deal. Spyker Cars said yesterday it had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for Youngman to take a 29.9% stake and Pang Da to take a 24% share in Saab, for a combined 2.3 billion yuan (US$355 million).
Under the agreement, Youngman will buy an equity stake in Saab for 1.3 billion yuan (US$200 million) and will take a 45% stake in the manufacturing JV, with Saab holding 45% and Pang Da the remaining 10%, according to reports. Youngman will hold a 33% stake in the distribution part of the JV, with Pang Da holding 34% and Saab 33%.
Meanwhile, Pang Da will be forking out 1.0 billion yuan (US$155 million) for its 24% equity stake in Spyker, up from the 605 million yuan (US$93.5 million) it was expected to deploy for its equity investment initially announced on May 16.
As has been the case, this deal hinges on approval from governmental agencies and third parties, involving both Chinese and Swedish governments as well as the European Investment Bank and Saab shareholder General Motors, the reports add. After all that has been happening in recent times, what with the likes of the scuppered Hawtai deal, all at Saab must be crossing their fingers that this one finally comes through.