Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In the troubled company advisory world, failed mergers and acquisitions provide a steady stream of work. Many spreadsheets are used to support acquiring a company rather than growing organically. After all, do you know how long it takes to grow organically? Way too long in this digital age.

So it is somewhat refreshing to see a management team decide that a planned acquisition just may be more than they can handle. The Koenigsegg Group in Sweden had originally planned to acquire the struggling SAAB franchise from GM. The definition of 'struggling'? SAAB has not been profitable in any year that it has been owned by GM.

Koenigsegg is a niche high end, low volume auto manufacturer. They looked at this acquisition, with the help of the Swedish government, as a way to step up in size. Fortunately for them, the pieces were slow to fall into place and finally someone there must have said, "can we really handle this?" The answer to this question apparently was 'no'. So, Koenigsegg has backed out of the purchase.

So, now what happens to SAAB? As the WSJ article says, SAAB accounts for only 1% of the sales of GM and it requires billions to be competitive. Will they make the right decision? Let's see how their new board of directors handle this one.

Cheers, Mike

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