Analyst: Saab-Pang Da Deal Unlikely to Gain Chinese Approved

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Chinese automaker Pang Da has begun discussions with government regulators, including the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, to seek approval to buy a stake in Saab and parent company Spyker. Yet an analyst in Beijing tells Automotive News that Pang Da is unlikely to receive that approval, meaning the deal with Saab-Spyker will fall through.

Beijing-based analyst Zhang Xin said that the Chinese government wants to reduce the number of car companies within its borders by 90 percent, which means it is unlikely the NDRC would approve the proposed deal between the Swedish and Chinese companies. “There is almost no chance for the government to approve Pang Da's purchase of Spyker's stake,” he told Automotive News.

The agreement, announced last week, would involve Pang Da investing at least $92 million in cash-strapped Saab. The two would sell Saab vehicles in China, and would later launch a new sub-brand of cars specifically for the Chinese market.

Saab had tried to form an agreement with another Chinese company, Hawtai, earlier this month, but the deal fell through. Saab and Pang Da remain optimistic about their newest deal -- at least in public.

In a statement today, Saab and Spyker CEO Victor Muller said, “We are confident that Pang Da will get the regulatory approvals needed to formalize the deal. I am very much looking forward to creating a strong business with Pang Da.”

Likewise, Pang Da CEO Pang Qinghua said in a statement, “We remain convinced that we will be able to get all the necessary documentation and approvals to successfully complete the transactions.”

For now, we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, however, Spkyer has decided to implement a name change. Going forward, the company formerly known as Spyker Cars N.V. will now be known as Swedish Automobile N.V. No reason was given for the change, but it was reportedly approved at the company’s shareholders’ meeting.

Sources: Saab, Automotive News

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