China’s BAIC in deal to buy parts of Saab: report

China's BAIC in deal to buy parts of Saab: report
Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. (BAIC) of China has inked a preliminary deal for the acquisition of parts of Saab Automobile, according to media reports.

A source tells the Wall Street Journal that BAIC will purchase the intellectual property for two sedan models – the Saab 9-3 and Saab 9-5 – and the equipment related to the production of the vehicles.

Reportedly signed at the weekend in Sweden, the deal also allows BAIC to integrate Saab technology into its own vehicles and will be partially financed by loans from state banks in China.

BAIC already has a 20 billion yuan ($2.93 billion) line of credit from Bank of China, the sourced told the Wall Street Journal.

The exact financial terms of the deal weren’t available, however.

GM spokesperson Michael Albano refused to comment directly on discussions between the US automaker and BAIC over the possible acquisition of Saab assets.

“We have discussions in process with many organizations about Saab,” GM Albano told the Wall Street Journal.

The source added that BAIC is continuing its weekend negotiations with Saab officials in Trollhättan in western Sweden and “exploring ways to reach further deals for cooperation”.

BAIC is China’s fifth largest carmaker and has previously indicated it’s not interested in purchasing Saab’s Trollhättan factory.

By selling Saab technology, GM is paving the way to close down Saab’s head offices and other parts of the Swedish automaker.

Last weekend it was revealed that GM, which is negotiating with several buyers, is prepared to have Saab split into several companies as the Riksdag has requested.

Throughout the autumn, a number of new companies have been registered, opening up the possibility that each one could be sold as a separate entity.

Saab spokesperson Eric Geers refused to confirm the Wall Street Journal report.

“That’s nothings that’s been confirmed, either from Saab or BAIC. I have no idea where it’s coming from,” he told the TT news agency on Sunday.

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