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Spyker sells part of Saab to Chinese Hawtai Motors

Saab resumed production at their Trollhattan facility yesterday after an April plagued with downtime due to the inability to pay suppliers and today, Spyker announced that Chinese automaker Hawtai Motor Group had invested 150 million Euros (roughly $222 million USD) – allowing Saab to pay its suppliers and send workers back into the production facilities.

The goal of this investment is for Hawtai and Saab to enter into joint ventures in manufacturing and distribution of vehicles along with R&D and technology sharing. Hawtai will invest 120 million Euros amounting to somewhere in the neighborhood of a (but no more than) 29.9% stake in Spyker and Saab. The other 30 million Euros from Hawtai comes in the form of a convertible loan with a six month maturity period and a 7% interest rate. This loan includes a stated conversion price of 4.88 Euros per share should the debt be converted into more stock in the company.

Spyker CEO and Saab Chairman Victor Muller offered the following comment after the announcement of the investment by Hawtai Motors:
"Saab is now well financed. It has secured its short and mid-term financing needs. That puts the credit crunch that the company went through in April to bed."

This means that Saab owners and enthusiasts around the world can sleep a little easier as the company now has the money to pay its suppliers and get back to building vehicles. The next major challenge for Spyker/Saab is to roll out vehicles developed without the help of General Motors as, right now, their most popular models are still heavily GM-influenced and in the case of the Saab 94x, GM is building the vehicle for them.

For the company to survive, Saab will have to show that they can design and build vehicles for the world market without GMs help. Luckily, not only does Saab gain a fair sum of money from their partnership with the Chinese automaker but they also stand to call upon other resources through technology sharing with their new Asian partners.

There is no mention of further talks with young Russian investor Vladimir Antonov but with CEO Muller mentioning short and mid-term financing, perhaps Antonov's millions could help procure the long-term financial comfort of the company.

Source: Automotive News

Other Saab News:
Spyker may join forces with Chinese to save Saab, GM approves Russian investor
Saab suppliers claim the automaker owes tens of millions
SAAB on path to slow transfer to young Russian ownership
Saab production halted as supplier problems continue
First OEM Android-powered infotainment system coming to Saab

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