Saab owner Spyker Cars NV and Pang Da are confident of overcoming any regulatory hurdles to their planned tie-up problems despite reports suggesting that a deal between the two companies could be stopped by the Chinese authorities.
Spyker said in a statement on Monday that Pang Da had started procedural discussions with Chinese authorities to obtain regulatory approval for an investment in Spyker and Saab.
"Based on our discussions with Pang Da we are confident that Pang Da will get the regulatory approvals needed to formalize the deal," said Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker and Saab, adding: "I am very much looking forward to creating a strong business with Pang Da, initially in the distribution and subsequently in the manufacturing of Saab vehicles in China.''
Pang Da, China's largest car dealership by market capitalization, needs to persuade at least three government agencies -- the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange -- that it can profit from the deal and contribute to state policy of making the car industry more competitive. The company is confident that it can achieve this.
"The initial procedure discussions we have had with the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) were done in good spirit and all parties have a good understanding of the process going forward. We remain convinced that we will be able to get all the necessary documentation and approvals to successfully complete the transactions,'' Pang Qinghua, CEO of Pang Da, said on Monday in a statement.
Spyker's second attempt in less than a month to establish a partnership for Saab in China may run counter to government strategy that includes cutting the number of vehicle manufacturers by 90 percent, analysts said.
"There is almost no chance for the government to approve Pang Da's purchase of Spyker's stake, let alone their plan to set up a new joint venture in China," analyst Zhang Xin at Guotai Junan Securities in Beijing told Bloomberg News. "The deal doesn't fit in the government's plan for consolidation."
Pang Da, which raised 6.3 billion yuan ($968 million) last month in an initial public offering in Shanghai, agreed on May 16 to pay 65 million euros ($93 million) for a 24 percent stake in Spyker and create carmaking and distribution ventures. The partners announced the accord less than a week after the collapse of Spyker's nine-day-old agreement with Beijing-based Hawtai Motor Group.