Ecclestone to buy Saab?

Bernie Ecclestone, F1 commercial rights boss, and new Renault F1 team owners Genii Capital have entered a surprise bid to acquire Saab according to the BBC. The beleaguered automaker was desperately waiting a public bid offering to see if anyone would step up to save the company.


Ecclestone’s bid was past the public bid deadline but it now joins another bid from sports car maker and former F1 team Spyker which has unsuccessfully bid for Saab before. A spokesman for Spyker said:

“We believe the Saab brand has lots of potential and would be keen to close a deal as quickly as possible.”

Ecclestone and Genii Capital could be saving the jobs of 3,400 people if their bid is successful. General Motors (GM), owners of Saab, have been trying to sell the company Swedish company since January of last year with no success but GM boss Ed Whitacre says it’s real simple:

“It’s real easy – show up with the money and you can have it,” he said. “[But] no one (has) showed up with the money.”

I suspect Ecclestone has a simple answer as well. Something along the lines of, “you take a haircut on the price and here is some money”. Waving cash in front of a desperate GM may make them move on a deal being the open bid has only produced two offers and one of them is from a company you failed to come to terms with in prior bids. Perhaps the Genii Capital connection will make more sense for GM?

Interesting that at an age when most men have long retired, Ecclestone is not only running the commercial arm of F1 but thinking about owning a car company as well. I want what he’s drinking.

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