Genii says new bid shows long-term support for Saab

STOCKHOLM Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:06pm GMT

The logo of Saab is seen outside the showroom at the Mike Shaw Saab dealer in Denver, Colorado December 30, 2009. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The logo of Saab is seen outside the showroom at the Mike Shaw Saab dealer in Denver, Colorado December 30, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Luxembourg-based Genii Capital said it had submitted a revised offer to GM for ailing carmaker Saab that showed it had the financial muscle to run the firm.

General Motors has begun to liquidate the company and said earlier this week that none of the offers it had received so far had shown the kind of financing necessary to support the brand over the long-term.

However, Lars Carlstrom, who is coordinating the bid Saab by Genii Capital and Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone, said on Wednesday he was "very optimistic" about the group's revised offer and hoped to hear a response from GM by the end of the week.

"It will show GM that the Ecclestone group is capable of providing financial strength to Saab during a long period of time and also show that the group has the know-how and capability, with its network, to run a company like Saab," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Most important is that Genii-Ecclestone would like to provide information to GM that financing is not an issue for this group."

On Tuesday, a team of liquidators moved into Saab's headquarters in Trollhattan, replacing its board of directors and starting the process of winding down the company.

GM has said it would continue to review credible offers for Saab on the condition that any potential buyer needed to have the financial strength to sustain Saab over the long term.

Carlstrom said his group was extremely well-financed and did not foresee any problem in obtaining backing for its bid in the form of loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

"I would say that we will hear something before this weekend. But even if we get a refusal from GM this week, we will not give up," he said.

(Reporting by Nick Vinocur; editing by Karen Foster)

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