Mike Stevens | Aug 19, 2009

GENERAL MOTORS has officially announced that it will sell 100 percent of Saab shares to a consortium lead by Swedish supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg.

The deal still hinges on a hefty loan from the European Investment Bank which must be guaranteed by the Swedish Government, but should the loan be approved Saab will be well on its way to rediscovering its independence.

"This contract is an important step in the journey to a potential deal," GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster said.

"Saab's great cars, its unique design, safety- and engine-technology, as well as its excellent brand image, combined with Koenigsegg Group's unique combination of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, bode well for a successful future for the brand.

"We will continue to work with all parties to define the final details and ensure a fast closure of the deal, which we expect to take place in the next few months."

The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the third quarter this year, with the European Investment Bank supplying Saab with a €600 million loan. Both GM and Koenigsegg will also contribute funds toward keeping Saab afloat.

“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character,” said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe.”

General Motors will continue to supply Saab with powertrains and platforms for a “defined period”; Saab has no plans to shift production of its upcoming 9-5 sedan out of Sweden.

Saab is one of four GM brands, along with Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn, being either sold or retired as the former world number one manufacturer works to shed the non-performing parts of its operations.

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