Saab agrees to sell entire company to Chinese, but approvals are still needed

Saab 9-4X

Sale of Saab could put the 9-4X back on the road again.

The Saab saga continues, but the end may finally be in sight. Then again, it may not be.

Company officials in Trollhattan, Sweden, have announced that an agreement has been reached to sell the company outright to two Chinese companies, Pang Da and Youngman, for $141.6 million.

Pang Da is China’s largest automotive retailer and Youngman is an auto manufacturer.

The new selling price is a fraction of the $352 million the two companies had previously agreed to pay for a 53-percent share of Saab. That deal had been delayed, and then terminated, as it awaited approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.

And therein lies the latest potential hang-up. The new deal also needs approval from Chinese regulators, plus the go-ahead from Saab shareholders and other parties. In addition, Saab is requiring assurances from the two companies that they will provide long-term funding to the company.

Tom Colbeck, head of Saab’s U. S. sales subsidiary, said he believes approval may come more quickly now because of the more favorable terms of the agreement, which is valid until Nov. 15.

Sweden’s other auto manufacturer, Volvo, was sold to another Chinese company, Zhejiang Geely, in 2010.