GM in talks to parcel out Saab in sale

By Associated Press
Monday, December 14, 2009

STOCKHOLM -- General Motors is in talks to sell parts of Saab Automobile's old technology to a Chinese company and the entire brand to another buyer, a person familiar with the negotiations said Sunday.

The person said GM plans to sell the technology behind Saab models 93 and 95 to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the deals.

The person said the sale of the old technology to BAIC will help Saab financially but won't stand in the way of a deal to sell the entire Saab brand and its current production to another buyer. Negotiations for such a deal are also taking place, the source said, but declined to say with whom.

GM declined to comment on the talks with the Chinese company.

"We are negotiating on various aspects of Saab and will announce when there is any further development," the company said in a statement Sunday.

GM earlier this month said it will phase out the Saab brand if it doesn't find a buyer before the end of December. About 4,500 jobs at Saab are at stake.

However, GM said new potential buyers had emerged after Sweden's Koenigsegg Automotive AB dropped out of a deal to buy the company in November.

BAIC was originally part of the Koenigsegg team and had said it would re-evaluate Saab after that deal fell through. The Chinese company did not return calls seeking comment Sunday.

Private-equity firm the Renco Group and investor group Merbanco are reportedly also interested in Saab.

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