Photo: Lisa Åserud
Former Saab owner seeks compensation

Spyker files US$ 3 billion suit against GM over Saab bankruptcy

Spyker, the former owner of Saab Automobile, is suing General Motors for US$ 3 billion, Swedish news agency TT reports. Spyker filed the lawsuit Monday to a court in Michigan.

"What we have to look into now is whether this can have any ramifications on the (Saab) estate. Both for the estate's relations vis-à-vis GM and the processing of the bankruptcy," says Hans Bergqvist, Saab's bankruptcy trustee, to Swedish Radio P4 West.

Spyker alleges that GM contributed to Saab's demise and ultimate bankruptcy by preventing the planned sale of Saab to Chinese Youngman. This would have averted a bankruptcy in the Chinese market, according to a press release issued by Spyker.

Spyker president Victor Muller writes that the company has been working on a suit since Spyker was forced into bankruptcy in December last year. The aim is to get compensation for Spyker and Saab for damages to the company that are a direct result of GM's actions.

"We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done and we will pursue this lawsuit with the same tenacity and persverance that we had when we tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile," he writes.

According to Muller, GM deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy.

GM had a key role in the various strategies to save Saab last autumn as it owned the rights to Saab's car models. On several occasions GM declined to transfer the licenses, at first in November when it became clear that Saab could become wholly Chinese owned, but then also to other solutions that included other Chinese partners.

Because Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy Spyker is responsible for all of the legal costs associated with the lawsuit in exchange for a significant portion of the award if GM loses in court. According to the press release, Spyker has secured financing from a third party.

On December 19 Saab declared bankruptcy.

In June, a Chinese, Japanese and Swedish consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden, agreed to buy the lion's share of the access to Saab's estate, however news agency TT reports the deal is not yet complete.

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