Mike Stevens | Jan 27, 2010

FOLLOWING REPORTS earlier this week that a deal was in sight, GM has announced today that it has reached a binding agreement with niche sports carmaker Spyker on the sale of Saab.

GM Vice President for Corporate Planning and Alliances, John Smith, said the deal is expected to be finalised in February. Previously announced wind-down activities will be suspended immediately.

"Today's announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM," Mr Smith said in a statement.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller said his company plans to form a new business called Saab Spyker Automobiles. Both brands will continue to be marketed under their existing names.

Muller has said in recent weeks that acquiring Saab will help his company share development costs, as well as providing greater retail opportunities through the Saab dealer network.

2010_saab_9-5_01

Despite having a market value of less than US$85 million, Spyker will pay GM $74 million in cash in addition to US$326 million worth of preferred shares in the new company.

In an interesting shift, after having last year declined to act as guarantor for Saab, a further $550 million in loans from the European Investment Bank have been guaranteed by the Swedish Government.

Neither GM nor Spyker have offered specific details or dates for the launch of the upcoming 9-5 sedan and wagon, although more information should be revealed when the deal is finalised next month.

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