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Spyker files £3bn legal action against GM over Saab bankruptcy

Spyker has filed a £3 billion legal action against General Motors after accusing the company of intentionally pushing Saab into bankruptcy by blocking a sale to Chinese investor Youngman.

Saab was declared bankrupt on December 19, 2011 and Spyker believes GM blocked the sale to avoid competition with Saab in the Chinese market.

Spyker’s statement said: “The transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern.”

Victor R. Muller, Spyker's chief executive officer, believes GM’s actions were “unlawful”.

Muller said: “Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile's bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation for this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a 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 perseverance that we had when we tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile, until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy.”

GM told the BBC the allegations are "baseless".

GM said: "We have reviewed the complaint, and it is completely without merit.

“We will vigorously defend the company."

Since Saab is in receivership and incapable to contribute to the costs of litigation, Spyker and Saab Automobile have entered into an agreement which will see Spyker bear the costs of litigation in exchange for a “very substantial share” of Saab if the proceedings are successful.

Muller said Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor, but will not reveal who the investor is.

Saab's assets were sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) in June this year which aims to turn the business into a maker of electric vehicles.

While the assets were sold, Muller and Spyker still own the rights to the legal entity Saab, which is why they are filing this lawsuit. 

NEVS has not yet secured the rights to the Saab brand name.

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  • Grand Chester - 30/01/2013 17:00

    I have family working for Saab in SwEden, and this ties in with their assessment. After all, a former subsidiary which builds a better product than the former parent company could prove an embarrassment.