Five Bidders for Saab
"There are about five we want to talk to. There are a couple more we are also looking into. We should see which candidates are serious in the next week and a half,” Jan-Ake Jonsson, Saab CEO told the source.
Although Jonsson didn't mention any of the five contestant, rumors revolve around the "usual suspects": Chinese car manufacturers. It what seems to have become a yellow fever frenzy, Geely Automobile and Dongfeng Motor Group are once again speculated to try and get their hands on a struggling European brand. Both of the Chinese companies denied their interest in Saab, as they keep doing in Volvo's case.
Reuters reported that other interested parties could be private equity firms and even representatives of of retired Swedish workers are taking interest into the company. “I hope in a month or two we will have at least some agreement with somebody,” Jonsson said.
Saab efforts to find a new owner will increase over the following months, as GM announced it will end its ownership of the Swedish company on January the 1st, 2010. The mother company has not begun an official auction for Saab, but is expected to do so over the following weeks.
Finding a new owner is vital for Saab if it wants to secure government loans. As Swedish officials expressed their disapproval about GM's survival plan, which didn't convince them it is a viable one, a new owner is the only way out. Jonsson's dreams regarding not one, not two, but five interested parties are around since mid last month, when he said "those who have contacted Saab are the kind of interested parties who are prepared to step in."