Mike Stevens | Feb 24, 2010

AFTER MONTHS of uncertainty and rumours, news in January that GM and Spyker had reached a binding agreement on the sale of Saab ensured the Swedish carmaker will stay in business - at least for the immediate future.

Nearly a month later, the two companies have completed negotiations, with the official transfer of ownership taking place today.

"Through this acquisition we add approximately 15 euros per share in equity and 60 euros of assets," Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a statement.

"With a well funded business plan in place we are looking forward to working with Saab's management on the realization of that plan and bringing exciting new products to our customers. Real Saabs, Saab Saabs."

The deal brings GM a step closer to cutting its costs, a year after announcing its intention to off-load a number of its non-performing brands. At the moment however, Hummer's sale to China's Sichuan Tengzhong remains unclear, and the American carmaker late last year reversed its decision to offload European brands Opel and Vauxhall.

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

In a press release earlier this month, Spyker confirmed plans to launch a new 9-3 in 2012, returning to its hatch roots while also keeping sedan and wagon variants in the line-up.

The new 9-5 and the previously-spied 9-4X crossover also feature in the company's plans. A fourth, smaller model, dubbed 9-1, is being assessed for its viability and is a chance starter.

Along with the launch of the 9-5 later this year, Saab's line-up will be completely renewed by 2012. Spyker says the 9-4X, which spy photos reveal to be virtually production-ready, will be launched in 2011.

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