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Spyker offloads sportscar division to focus on Saab

Spyker sold: The Dutch car-maker has sold the sportscar side of its business to British-based company CPP Global Holdings Ltd.

Former shareholder Vladimir Antonov to buy Spyker's sportscar business

Saab logo28 Feb 2011

THIRTEEN months after Dutch sportscar-maker Spyker Cars acquired Saab from General Motors in the wake of GM’s chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company has announced plans to sell the sportscar side of its business in order to reduce debt and sharpen its focus on the revival of Saab.

The buyer, British-based CPP Global Holdings Limited, will acquire “virtually all assets related to the Spyker business” including its trademarks and intellectual property rights for an upfront payment of €15 million (A$20.3 million).

Up to a further 17 million Euros (A$23 million) of instalments will be paid from Spyker’s pre-tax earnings between 2011 and 2016.

The sale process is still subject to due diligence but once completed, Spyker Cars – which will be renamed to distance itself from the separated sportscar company – plans to further reduce debt by converting €17 million of loans into shares.

Spyker CEO and Saab chairman Victor Muller – who will continue in both roles until a successor for Spyker is appointed – said, “Without Spyker we would not have been able to acquire Saab Automobile last year,” adding that the sportscar business “soon became a small fish in a large pond as a result”.

 center image From top: Spyker CEO and Saab chairman Victor Muller, Saab 9-3 Independence Edition and MY12 Saab 9-3 sedan.

CPP Global Holdings is owned by Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov, who as GoAuto reported, previously held a 29.3 per cent stake in Spyker but was forced to sell his 4.6 million shares to Tenaci Capital BC – an equity firm owned by Spyker CEO Victor Muller – because GM refused to sell Saab to the Dutch company otherwise.

CPP, which stands for Coventry Prototype Panels, is a British coachbuilder specialising in the manufacture of aluminium and steel vehicle body panels that produces the chassis and body assemblies for Spyker.

The company has also carried out prototype work for Aston Martin and Rolls Royce, plus the production of Geneva show cars including the Bentley Brooklands and Spyker Zagato.

Mr Antonov said, "Having created an automotive portfolio over the past two years consisting of premium, world-class companies and brands, we are convinced that Spyker will flourish within the CPP Group and become profitable as planned.”

Last year, Australian Saab dealers sold just 14 cars from old stock – down from 1862 in 2007. However, new models are returning – beginning with the 9-3X all-wheel drive wagon, 9-3 sedan and 9-3 wagon – which will be distributed to a pared-down dealer network by factory-owned Saab Cars Australia ahead of the all-new 9-5 flagship sedan’s local launch in April.

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