UPDATE 2-Spyker ‘doing everything’ to get Saab, shares held

* Spyker CEO in Stockholm holding talks to buy Saab

* Talks in “positive spirit” but are complicated

* Spyker shares halted after huge run on Monday

(Recasts, adds Fiat’s Marchionne, detail)

By Johan Ahlander and Reed Stevenson

STOCKHOLM/AMSTERDAM, Jan 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Dutch sportscar
maker Spyker (SPYKR.AS: ) on Tuesday appeared closer to buying
Swedish automaker Saab from General Motors [GM.UL], with the
chief executive saying he was “doing everything” to seal the
deal.

Trading in Spyker shares was halted in Amsterdam pending an
announcement. The stock skyrocketed 77 percent on Monday on
speculation it was near to agreeing the acquisition.

Spyker, which only produces several dozen handmade supercars
every year, hopes to benefit from Saab’s technical resources and
distribution network, while Saab, with annual production of over
90,000 cars, would get an injection of entrepreneurial spirit.

“Negotiations are ongoing and the spirit is positive, but we
are very, very tired,” Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller told
Reuters in Stockholm, where he is holding talks.

“It is such a complicated transaction. It’s not for no
reason it has taken so long. It is extremely technical,” he
said. “It can go either way, but you can rest assured we are
doing everything to close the deal.”

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that GM was close to
announcing a deal to sell Saab to Spyker, citing someone
familiar with the negotiations. [ID:nN26236128]

Spyker was a defunct brand until 2000, when Muller, a former
clothing brand executive and mergers lawyer, revamped it to
restore the glory of a family firm that once built a coach for
the Dutch royal family but was liquidated in 1926.

Saab, which has lost money for GM over the past decade, was
put up for sale by its parent more than a year ago. GM has
already begun winding down Saab operations, even while courting
last-minute bids.

Spyker has faced some scepticism from the start, given that
the Dutch company has never made a profit.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC,
reportedly said at an event in Stockholm on Tuesday that being a
profitable niche player — alluding to both Saab and Spyker —
was extremely difficult.
“Marginal players will continue to be marginalised,”
Marchionne said. “We cannot build it on hopes and dreams.”

SOLID PLUS FLASHY?

While Saab has cultivated an image as a solid, if not
boring, Swedish carmaker with its 9-3 and 9-5 models, Spyker has
gone the opposite route.

Its custom-made 200,000-euro C8 Aileron and C8 Spyder models
feature handcrafted leather seats, chrome-laden bodies and are
powered by a tuned Audi V8 engine which can top 300 kph (186
mph).

The unlikely pairing would combine Spyker’s 110-plus
employees with Saab’s 3,400, but this has not been the first
time Saab has attrached a niche auto market bidder.

A deal to sell Saab to tiny luxury car maker Koenigsegg fell
through last November and GM said then it would start winding
down, sparking a frantic scramble to get new bids.

Spyker’s Muller on Tuesday talks were proceeding well but
negotiations could still “go either way”.

Analysts previously have been pessimistic about the chances
of doing a deal. Some have questioned GM’s willingness to sell
technology that could compete with its own models.

Spyker has updated its bid several times and it remains
unclear whether it has been able to meet all GM’s demands.

It is now the sole bidder after investment company Genii
Capital, backed by Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone, withdrew
its offer on Monday. [ID:nLDE60M05T]

Money
(Additional reporting by Johannes Hellstrom in Stockholm;
Editing by David Cowell)

UPDATE 2-Spyker ‘doing everything’ to get Saab, shares held