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Saab to accelerate talks with buyers – WSJ

  General Motors’ Swedish unit Saab will speed up talks this week with a number of potential suitors, according to a Wall Street Journal online story citing a top executive of the company.

The report cited an interview with Saab Managing Director Jan Ake Jonsson at the Geneva auto show.

Saab, which is also looking to Sweden for financial aid, is working with Deutsche Bank on its efforts to sell the unit and has talked with potential suitors inside and outside the auto industry, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The story said that Jonsson did not name any of the suitors but said that a deal could be completed by next year. The executive said Saab needs 500 million euros aid from the Swedish government to survive, according to the story.

But the Swedish government said late month that it would not consider loan guarantees to Saab unless the carmaker finds a private investor to underwrite its business plan and that the state should not own car makers.

Jonsson also told the Journal that Saab was committed to reaching profitability by 2011, it said. He said there would be too much overlap for a combination between Saab and Sweden’s Volvo, which Ford Motor Co is looking to sell. (Reuters)