Spyker gives General Motors more time to weigh latest offer for Saab car brand

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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Dutch carmaker Spyker is giving General Motors Co. more time to consider its latest offer for car brand Saab.
Spyker Cars had previously given GM until 5 p.m. EST Monday to consider its latest proposal, but Spyker says that deadline has been extended indefinitely as negotiations continue.
Spyker submitted the latest offer on Sunday, just days after talks with GM to buy the Swedish car brand collapsed. GM said on Friday it had no other buyers and would close Saab.
On Monday, Swedish government officials were holding emergency meetings with unions and local authorities to prepare for the closure of Saab's main factory.
Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said the government will allocate an extra 542 million kronor (US$74.6 million) for labour market initiatives in southwestern Sweden, where Saab now employs around 3,200 people.
She said she hoped that GM would find a solution to save Saab, but expressed doubt it would be possible at this stage.
"I want to point out that it is very late, the timetable is very limited, and that also means it is a very, very difficult situation," Olofsson said.
GM on Sunday said it had received several inquiries about Saab after its announcement Friday that it would wind down the brand.
The government said the labour market initiatives would be directed at education, job training and boosting entrepreneurship and innovation in southwestern Sweden.
The measures were announced after a meeting between Olofsson and representatives from Saab, labour unions and local authorities from the southwestern town of Trollhattan, where Saab's main plant is located.
GM officials did not participate in the meeting.
GM bought a 50 per cent stake and management control of Saab for $600 million in 1989 and gained full ownership in 2000 for $125 million more.
In February, the Swedish brand went into creditor protection in an effort by GM to sell the unit before the end of the year.
A consortium led by Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Automotive AB signed a preliminary deal to buy the brand in June but dropped out in November. After that Spyker emerged as the main bidder, but a first round of talks with them collapsed last week.
Olofsson said GM has not provided any details about how a closure of the plant in Trollhattan would be carried out, but said she expects workers to receive redundancy payments according to their contracts and Swedish labour laws.
This could mean up to six months pay for some employees after negotiations with unions have been concluded

Organizations: General Motors Co., Spyker Cars, Koenigsegg Automotive AB

Geographic location: Southwestern Sweden, Trollhattan

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