GM given more time by Spyker to respond to Saab lawsuit
U.S. automaker requested 30-day extension to Aug. 28 deadline
Dutch sports car maker Spyker said on Friday it had agreed to a request by General Motors to extend the deadline to respond to its lawsuit seeking more than $3 billion in damages, giving it until Sept. 28.
The deadline had been due to expire Aug. 28.
Spyker is suing GM on behalf of its former subsidiary, Saab, accusing the U.S. automaker of deliberately bankrupting the Swedish carmaker by blocking a deal with a Chinese investor.
"GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortuously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile AB, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman, that would have permitted Saab Automobile AB to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern," Spyker said in a statement on Friday.
GM has said the lawsuit was "without merit."
Saab went bankrupt in December 2011, less than two years after GM sold it to Spyker. The bankruptcy followed several unsuccessful attempts to attract investment and revive the company. Saab was declared insolvent with debts of about 13 billion Swedish crowns ($1.8 billion), around 2.2 billion of which is owed to the Swedish Debt Office.
Spyker and former Saab CEO Victor Muller tried for months to pull off a rescue deal for Saab with various Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese investors, including China's Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.
GM effectively blocked final deals to save Saab with Pang Da and Youngman when the U.S. automaker said it would stop supplying vehicles and technology to Saab's new owners because it would run counter to the interests of its own shareholders.
Muller has said that the $3 billion claim is based on what Saab would have been worth if a deal with Chinese investors had gone ahead.
Spyker's said the lawsuit is being being funded by an anonymous third party, who will share in any settlement.
Following Saab's bankruptcy, bankruptcy administrators in Sweden said they had chosen a consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) to buy Saab for an undisclosed sum.
Reuters contributed to this report
PRESS RELEASE: SPYKER AGREES TO GM's REQUEST FOR A 30-DAY EXTENSION OF THE DEADLINE TO RESPOND TO ITS COMPLAINT
Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 24 August 2012 -- Spyker N.V. ("Spyker") announces that it has agreed to General Motors Company's ("GM") request for a 30-day extension of the August 28 deadline to respond to the Complaint, which response is now due on September 28.
Spyker and Saab Automobile AB filed the Complaint on Monday, August 6, at 08.00 EST. The lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market. GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortuously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile AB, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile AB to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern.
You can reach David Jolley at firstname.lastname@example.org.