STOCKHOLM (Bloomberg) -- National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, the investment group that bought Saab Automobile two years ago, said it’s found two Asian investors that may help fund its revival of the Swedish car brand.
An Asian carmaker agreed on Sunday to buy a majority stake in National Electric and finance the company’s operating costs until the deal is complete early next year, the Trollhaettan, Sweden, company said in a statement today. National Electric also said it’s in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop vehicles.
National Electric, a Chinese-Japanese investment group led by renewable energy power plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., sought protection from its creditors in August after struggling to deliver on a target of producing 120,000 cars a year by 2016. That would have come close to the Saab brand’s 2006 peak of 133,000 autos.
Talks with the two Asian manufacturers have “intensified significantly in the past few weeks,” National Electric said today. It didn’t identify either company.
Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported on Aug. 5 that National Electric was in talks with India’s Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp. on funding, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the talks.
The potential majority shareholder has offered to provide bridge financing of 5 million euros ($6.2 million) a month to cover operating costs until the agreement is complete, National Electric said. Pending due diligence, the company said the deal should be finished by February.
National Electric, granted permission by a Swedish court on Aug. 29 to carry out a reorganization of the company, applied today to Vaenersborg District Court to extend the reconstruction period by three months. National Electric said it had trouble paying its creditors after its shareholder Qingbo Investment Co. didn’t fulfill a promised investment of 1.15 billion kronor ($155 million).
Saab was previously owned by General Motors, which acquired full control in 2000, before selling it in 2010 to Dutch supercar maker Spyker NV, which failed to revive the brand. The auto business split from Saab AB’s aerospace operations in 1990.