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Saab appoints administrator

Date: 20 February 2009

Saab GB's sale to Spyker Cars has been secured

Troubled Swedish car brand Saab has been cut loose by parent GM and is undergoing reorganisation - the legal process under which and administrator is appointed to turn the car maker into an independent business.

A statement issued by the firm earlier today said: "As a result of GM's strategic review of the global Saab business the Saab Board announced today that it will file for reorganisation under a self-managed Swedish court process to create a fully independent business entity that would be sustainable and suitable for investment.

"The reorganisation is a self-managed, Swedish legal process headed by an independent administrator appointed by the court who will work closely with the Saab management team."

Saab will now seek funding to continue operating in the medium to longer term.

However, the Swedish government has ruled out bailing out Saab.

Sweden's enterprise and energy minister Maud Olofsson, is reported by the BBC to have said: "Voters picked me because they wanted nursery schools, police and nurses, and not to buy loss-making car factories.

"When I see that Saab has been running at a loss for so many years it would be irresponsible for me to stand here and say, sure, we are going to use the taxpayers' money in this way."

"We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab and it was determined a formal reorganisation would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment," said Jan Ake Jonsson, managing director for Saab Automobile. "With an all new 9-5, 9-3X and 9-4X all ready for launch over the next year and a half, Saab has an excellent foundation for strong growth, assuming we can get the funding to complete engineering, tooling and manage launch costs. Reorganisation will give us the time and means that help get these products to market while minimising the liquidity impact of Saab on GM."

A spokesman for the brand said: "Saab will continue to operate as usual and in accordance with the formal reorganisation process."

General Motors is also attempting to sell several other underperforming brands, including the 4x4 manufacturing Hummer.