Saab's Dutch parent company Spyker will rename itself Swedish Automobile NV, once Chinese authorities approve Pang Da Automobile's investment plan.
A multi-layered deal with the Chinese car distributor has secured 30 million euro ($42m) of cash instantly, which is being used to settle outstanding debts with Saab's 800-outfit-strong supplier base so production at Trollhattan can resume. The second tier of the deal could see Pang Da take a 24 percent equity stake in Spyker, worth 65 million ($91m).
Initial discussions between Chinese authorities and Pang Da took place in “good spirit,” according to Pang Da CEO Pang Qinghua, and he is “convinced we will be able to get all the necessary documentation and approvals” to finalize its investment.
Saab executives are describing this part of the deal as critical to securing the company's medium term future, so that its engineering and development facilities can resume operations. In the longer term, Spyker will enter a joint venture with Pang Da and a local Chinese vehicle manufacturer to begin making cars in China within two years. Should this part of the deal fall through, Spyker will have to repay the 30 million euro advance received last week.
Pang Da has stepped into a void left when a similar deal with Chinese car-maker Hawtai collapsed earlier this month. Hawtai failed to convince its stakeholders to consent to an investment in Spyker.
Spyker Cars agreed in February to sell its sports car business of the same name to a British holding company to allow it to fully concentrate running Saab. CPP Global Holdings Ltd. agreed to pay an initial 15 million euro ($21m) for Spyker's assets, including intellectual property rights and trademarks.
CPP is headed up by Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov, who previously held a 29.9 percent stake in Spyker. He was forced to sell this when Spyker bought Saab from General Motors a year ago.