Spyker, the automaker that currently owns the Saab label, is suing General Motors for blocking a buyout deal that would have saved Saab from bankruptcy. Does Spyker have a good case?
David W Cerny/Reuters/FIle
The Saab story would be hilarious if it weren't so heartbreaking.
The latest news? Saab's current parent, Spyker, is suing the company's former parent, General Motors, for standing in the way of Saab's adoption by a third parent (China's Youngman) and thereby forcing Saab into bankruptcy.
If you've not been following the news recently, all that might sound a bit confusing. Here's a quick recap:
The latest news comes via a press release, issued this morning. Apparently, Spyker is now suing GM for $3 billion in retaliation for 86ing the aforementioned marriage between Spyker and Youngman. According to that release:
This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market. GM's [sic] actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortiously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern. The monetary value of the claim amounts to US$ 3 billion (three billion US dollars).
What does it all mean?
TCC's highly unofficial, unscientific, inter-office poll suggests that this is nothing but a face-saving measure put forward by Spyker's grudge-holding CEO, Victor Muller. Our guess is that Muller is pretty steamed that his grand vision for Saab didn't work out like he'd planned, and now, like some comic book villain on the brink of collapse, he's lashing out at everyone he can.
In fact, this lawsuit seems like a way for Muller to regain some of the cash he invested in Saab. Again, from the press release:
Since Saab Automobile is in receivership and hence incapable to contribute to the costs of litigation, Spyker and Saab Automobile have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Spyker will bear the costs of such litigation in exchange for a very substantial share of Saab Automobile award when the proceedings are successful.
Awfully convenient, no?
We're not lawyers, and we haven't been privy to any of the legal documents filed in this case, or to those surrounding the initial sale of Saab to Spyker. However, we'd be very surprised if Muller succeeds -- in large part because the lawsuit was filed in the U.S., the home of the well-established patent laws that GM used to protect its intellectual property.
Moreover, the suit was filed in Michigan, where judges and jurors could be more sympathetic to GM than to a foreign outfit like Spyker.
Then again, who knows? The Saab saga has had more twists and turns than a Lifetime special starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. We'll keep you posted as this latest subplot progresses.