Swedish Automobiles sells Spyker Cars to US equity firm
Spyker Cars, the low volume and high performance branch of Swedish Automobiles has been sold to US firm North Street Capital. North Street’s goals are to help build the Spyker brand, both in the lines of new product development and in the interest of bolstering their factory backed racing programs. Spyker plans no operational changes immediately following the purchase and the company has announced the Viktor Muller (founder of Spyker and CEO of Saab) will remain the boss at Spyker for the time being. North Street Capital reportedly paid $44 million dollars for the Spyker Cars division but unfortunately, it seems that none of that money will go to help the ailing Saab brand.
It turns out that at some point, the assets of Spyker Cars were promised to Tenaci Capital, presumably through some previous investment deal. Tenaci Capital is owned by young Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov who has been blocked on a few occasions from purchasing a chunk of the Saab brand and since his company has the rights to the Spyker Cars assets, the net proceeds of the sale to North Street Capital will go to Antonov’s investment firm – not to Swedish Automobiles or Saab.
The Spyker Cars brand was originally planned to be sold to CPP Global Holdings, the company who has a heavy hand in the production of the current Spyker model. Click here for a look at the original announcement of Spyker being sold to CPP. CPP is also owned by Antonov and even though things seemed set to sell Spyker to CPP, the February deal fell through which lead to the sale of North Street Capital. However, CPP has announced that they are still interested in buying Spyker Cars and they will continue pursuing the company until the deal with the US firm has been fully finalized.
According to Financial Times, Spyker Cars is currently unprofitable and has not sold a car since 2009, when just 36 vehicles were sent out. Not Spyker models were sold in 2010 and we can assume that very few – if any – Spykers will be sold during the 2011 calendar year. While Saab will not benefit directly from the financial gains brought in by the sale of the Spyker Cars division, Swedish Automobiles can now focus all of their personnel and resources in saving Saab as they re-organize the company under the protection and oversight of the Swedish government.