As part of Spyker’s recent deal to purchase the Saab brand, CEO Victor Muller acquired a 34-percent stake in the Swedish automaker. To avoid Sweden’s buyout laws, Muller recently sold a portion of his shares to an independent firm.
Swedish law maintains that if an individual acquires 30 percent or more of a company’s shares, the purchaser is obligated to make an offer to purchase the remainder of the company. Muller’s 34.3-percent stake in Saab would have legally forced him to make a tender for the remainder of the company.
To avoid this pesky regulation, Muller ended up selling 1.3 million shares to Dorwing Solution, a Cyprus-based firm described as a “special purpose company.” As a result, Muller’s Saab stake is now down to 26.8 percent -- well under Sweden’s threshold.
Spyker officials wouldn’t say who owns and manages Dorwing, raising some speculation that Dorwing -- a firm that seems to have been incorporated in early March -- may simply be a shell company. Adding fuel to this speculative fire is the clause that allows Muller to purchase all of his sold shares at any time for the same price.
Saab also recently announced it plans on increasing its total output by roughly 18 percent this year, as it moves to restore Saab to profitability. This will bring Saab’s production total to between 50,000 and 60,000 units -- just below the 75,000 car target that Muller says will make the company profitable again by 2012.