December 22, 2014

Saab: Is India’s Mahindra in the hunt for bankrupt Saab?

India's Mahindra in the hunt for Saab?

India's Mahindra in the hunt for Saab?

It’s reported that a representative of a ‘Large Indian Car Maker’ has been rebuffed by the Saab receivers.

Victor Muller finally gave up the task of trying to keep Saab in business just before Christmas and filed for bankruptcy. Now, the task of finding a buyer for Saab is in the hands of the receivers, represented by Hans Bergqvist and Anne-Marie Pouteaux.

But because this is Saab, we can be pretty sure nothing is going to be straightforward.

It seems that a meeting was set for a representative of a ‘Big’ Indian car maker to meet with the receivers on 5th January to discuss taking Saab over in  its entirety, which is doubtless the only way the receivers will be able to yield any sort of sensible return for Saab’s creditors. But that meeting has apparently been called-off.

The representative for the car maker from India is one Lars Carlstrom, who just happens to have been Vladimir Antonov’s representative when Antonov was trying to take a stake in Saab earlier in 2011.

It’s reported that Carlstrom received a call from Hans Bergqvist last night asking if Carlstrom was the man who represented Antonov earlier in the year. When he was told he was, Bergqvist declared the meeting cancelled and that the receivers had no interest in meeting to discuss the Indian interest in Saab.

It seems an odd reaction from a receiver tasked with trying to salvage some sort of future for Saab, even if there is an understandable reluctance to keep any possible involvement with Antonov out of the game. But if this is an approach from a big Indian car maker, the choice of representative should surely not rule out discussions?

But who is the ‘Big’ Indian car maker? There are really only two choices – Tata and Mahindra. Tata probably have their ‘Flagship’ buy with Jaguar Land Rover, but Mahindra currently only own Ssangyong. A high profile European name with history – like Saab – would make a lot of sense for Mahindra.

Let’s hope this little spat doesn’t stop common sense prevailing, and that the receivers have a change of heart and at least listen to the overtures from India.

Source: Auto Motorsport

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  1. If true, this can’t be right. Assuming Mahindra is the interested party, logically they would seek a local representative familiar with the Saab mess. The fact that rep also acted for Antonov previously shouldn’t come in to it.

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