Saab has sold a 30-percent stake to the Hawtai Motor Group Company Limited in a deal worth €150 million. Struggling to stay afloat, Saab has been looking for other investment sources and the Chinese group also provided an option for overseas interest outside the EU. The deal includes 120 million euros subscription for 24.6 million Saab shares and a 30-million euro convertible loan.
Approval from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Swedish Debt Office is pending, and approval from the Chinese end could take six to 12 months. The company plans that this financing will furnish some mid-term operational needs and will obviously give it access to the Chinese car market - where every car manufacturer wants to be right now.
It’s unclear what kind of operational or production procedures will be shared, but according to reports, Hawtai is keen to expand its production, up to about one million vehicles by 2015. There is no further news about the courting of Saab investment from Vladimir Antonov, but a few days ago offers from him were said to be under consideration, pending approval as well.
If it all pans out, Saab is planning a global tour to introduce everybody and while we’re tempted to say it sounds like an international picnic, the new investment will mark another new chapter in Saab’s recent turbulent history, and quite an ecletic company at that.