GM Said to Pick Koenigsegg as Front-Runner to Buy Saab (Update1)
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By Serena Saitto
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Koenigsegg Automotive AB, a Swedish maker of luxury sports car, is the front-runner to buy Saab Automobile AB from General Motors Corp., a person close to the situation said.
Koenigsegg was chosen because of the investment it committed to restructure Saab and because it’s a carmaker, said the person, who declined to be identified because details are private. The other bidders included U.S. billionaire Ira Rennert’s Renco Group Inc. and Merbanco Inc., a group of investors from Wyoming.
GM and Sweden have been looking for a buyer for Saab since the Trollhaettan, Sweden-based carmaker filed for protection from creditors in February. Sweden said today it’s prepared to negotiate state guarantees for loans to Saab as a buyer emerges.
“We have always said that when there is a new owner of Saab, the debt office could be commissioned to negotiate about loan guarantees, if such are needed,” Swedish Industry Ministry State Secretary Joeran Haegglund said in a statement. “With today’s decision we are well prepared to do so.”
Karin Kirchner, a spokeswoman for GM Europe in Zurich, declined to comment on the status of negotiations on Saab. Koenigsegg spokeswoman Halldora Von Koenigsegg, wife of founder Christian Von Koenigsegg, couldn’t immediately be reached.
Saab is seeking an agreement with creditors to pay back 25 percent of what they’re owed and will present the outcome of the talks to a court June 17.