General Motors Corp.’s Saab unit on Friday said a deal to find a new owner was “just around the corner” but added that nothing has been finalized and didn’t name any potential buyers.
In a statement on its Web site titled “A new investor for Saab?” the Swedish unit said it was moving closer to a deal to secure the future of the ailing brand.
“To set the record straight there has been no official announcement relating to any potential investors but rest assured our negotiations are on track and we expect to have a new ownership structure finalized in the early summer,” the statement said.
“Until then enjoy the increased speculation in the knowledge that the next chapter in Saab Automobile’s history is just around the corner,” Saab said.
A person briefed on the talks would not identify the final bidders for Saab but said on Thursday that news could come “shortly,” perhaps as early as Friday.
“The process is well along,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private.
Citing unnamed sources, Swedish broadcaster SVT said Koenigsegg and Norwegian investors have signed a declaration of intent to buy Saab.
Koenigsegg board member Jesko von Koenigsegg declined to comment on the report, saying “we have no official statement yet.”
The company was founded in 1994 by Christian von Koenigsegg, a Swedish sports car fanatic and entrepreneur, who remains the chief executive. It makes luxury sports cars at its headquarters, a former air force base near Angelholm, in southern Sweden.
With a full-time staff of 45, Koenigsegg makes 15-20 cars a year, customized for every buyer. Its models include the CCR, the CCX and the ethanol-fueled CCXR. Koenigsegg is currently developing the Quant, a solar-powered electric car.
The company doesn’t advertise prices for its cars, but they are believed to range between 8 million-18 million kronor ($1 million-$2.3 million).
Gunilla Gustavs, a spokeswoman at Saab Automobile in Sweden, said Thursday “yes, we believe we’re in the final stages” but declined to give other details about the talks.
Saab went into creditor protection Feb. 20 in an effort by GM to spin off or sell the unit. Saab confirmed last month that three bidders remained in the sales process and that they expected to complete the sale by the end of June.
The three bidders reportedly in the lead to buy Saab were Koenigsegg; The Renco Group Inc., a private equity firm; and Merbanco Inc., a Wyoming-based group of investors.
Detroit-based GM filed for bankruptcy protection June 1 and has said it plans to shed its Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab brands to focus on four core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Last week, GM said it found a buyer for Hummer in China’s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., and it announced that Penske Automotive Group Inc. would buy the Saturn brand.