Spyker N.V.

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Spyker N.V.
Type Naamloze vennootschap
Traded as EuronextSWAN
Industry Automotive
Founded 1999
Headquarters Zeewolde, Netherlands
Key people Victor Muller, CEO and President,
Hans Hugenholtz, Chairman
Products Automobiles
Revenue Decrease €819.2 million (2010)[1]
Operating income Decrease €140.1 million (2010)[1]
Profit Decrease €218.3 million (2010)[1]
Total assets Decrease €1.078 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity Decrease €206.5 million (end 2010)[1]
Employees 3,830 (FTE, average 2010)[1]
Subsidiaries Spyker P2P (2012 - present)[2]
Spyker Phoenix (2012 - present)
Spyker Cars (1999 - present)[3] Saab Automobile (2010 - 2011)[4]
Website http://www.spykernv.com

Spyker N.V. (formerly known as Spyker Cars N.V. and Swedish Automobile) is a Dutch based automobile company that produces high-end sports cars. It is the holding company of the Spyker Cars marque. In 2010, the company acquired Swedish car manufacturer Saab Automobile from General Motors.[5][6] In September 2011, Spyker announced the impending sale of its supercar division to Greenwich, Connecticut based North Street Capital,[3] and subsequently changed its name to Swedish Automobile.[7] However, it has since been revealed that the transaction did not occur leaving the future of Spyker uncertain.[8]

History[edit]

Spyker Cars[edit]

The reborn company was founded by Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn in 1999, and since 2000, Spyker has been building exclusive sports cars like the C8 Spyder and the C8 Laviolette (with its elegant glass roof).[9] Spyker's history of producing aero engines is reflected in details in these new cars as well as in the logo.[9]

The Spyker C8 at Salon Prive, London, England.

The C8 Laviolette and C8 Spyder have a 4172 cc Audi V8 engine delivering 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS), acceleration 0–60 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h (190 mph).[10][11] On July 14, 2005, it was announced that the C8 was approved for sale on the United States market.[12][13]

Between 2002 and 2006, Spyker built the C8 Double 12 S, which was available from the factory with 5 different levels of performance called Stage I (400 h.p.) through Stage V (620 h.p.), depending on the customer's need for performance.[14]

Between 2003 and 2007, Spyker built the C8 Spyder T, with the Twin turbo being developed in conjunction with Cosworth from England.[15] These engines were capable of 525 h.p. and acceleration times of 4.0 seconds.[16][17]

In 2005, the head designer and founder, Maarten de Bruijn, left the company, and founded Silvestris Aquamotive which builds aluminum space frame speed boats.[18][19]

In 2006, Spyker built the C12 La Turbie with an V12 engine capable of 500 horsepower and acceleration from 0–60 mph in less than 4 seconds.[20][21]

In September 2006, Spyker bought out the Midland F1 team.[22] The team competed in the final 3 races of the 2006 season as Spyker MF1. In the 2007, the team competed as Spyker F1 using engines supplied by Ferrari. Driver Adrian Sutil was paired with Christijan Albers until the European Grand Prix where the latter was replaced by reserve driver Markus Winkelhock; the team then signed Sakon Yamamoto to fill in the slot for the rest of the year. The team itself had minimal success, suffering from multiple retirements (including double retirements in Malaysia, Canada and Brazil) before Sutil scored the team's first and only point in Japan. At the end of the season, the team was sold to a consortium named "Orange India" led by Vijay Mallya and was subsequently renamed as Force India.[23]

On May 27, 2004, Spyker Cars listed on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange at €15.50, falling to a low of €8.28 in April 2005.[24] The stock rebounded sharply in early 2006 to over €22 per share.[25][26] Early in 2007 the stock showed a sharp decline to levels beneath €13 because of financing issues.[24] As a result, several stock issues were announced to big investors. Notably, all shares have been sold at higher prices than the market price at the moment of announcement.[citation needed] On November 13, 2005, Spyker Cars and Mubadala Development Company, a principal investment company wholly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates,[27] announced their strategic alliance, with Mubadala acquiring 17% of Spyker [28] Mubadala has a strong relationship with sports cars, also controlling 5% of Ferrari.[29][30] On September 16, 2013, Spyker Cars' parent Spyker N.V. lost its listing on Euronext Amsterdam after failing to undergo a restructuring agreement.[31]

In 2007, Spyker, in collaboration with the Italian car-design firm Zagato, produced the C12 Zagato, based on the C12 La Turbie, but with more appealing body work, faster speeds, and the Zagato trademark roof bubbles.[32][33] This is perhaps the more exclusive Spyker car to date.[34]

In November 2009, Spyker announced that it would be moving production from Zeewolde to Whitley, Coventry, where assembly would be done in partnership with CPP Manufacturing.[35][36] UK production began in February 2010.[37]

Proposed sale of Spyker Cars[edit]

In February 2011, it was announced that Swedish Automobile, the Dutch owner of Saab Automobile, agreed to sell its sports-car unit to Vladimir Antonov. Antonov, a former Spyker chairman and shareholder, is expected to pay 15 million euros ($21 million) for the company.[38][39] However, in March 2011, the deal fell through,[40] with Spyker's manufacturing partner CPP Manufacturing placing a bid, but this deal fell though later that month.[41][42]

In September 2011, it was announced that Swedish Automobile would sell Spyker Cars, in an all-cash offer to an American private equity and hedge fund North Street Capital, for €32 million ($41 million).[43][44] However, according to a recent announcement, Swedish Automobile is again offering Spyker cars up for sale, it was revealed that this sale did not actually occur, with North Street Capital still attempting to close the deal.[45][46]

Acquisition and bankruptcy of Saab Automobile[edit]

2011 Saab 9-5, the first new Saab released under Spyker ownership.

Upon the failure of an expected deal by Koenigsegg Group AB to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors late in November 2009, Spyker Cars began talks with GM to take over Saab. However, with a stated deadline of the end of 2009 for completion of the sale, it was announced on December 18 that GM and Spyker, after carrying out an extensive due diligence effort, had determined that a satisfactory deal was not possible and GM would begin the process of a staged wind-down of Saab Automobile.[47]

Spyker Cars shortly thereafter made another offer that is said to solve all the problems that GM pointed at. GM had until December 21 to respond,[48][49] but the deadline was later extended to December 23 and then indefinitely.[50] As negotiations continued with GM, another rival bidder for Saab Automobile emerged - Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital backed by F1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone. However, following weeks of negotiations, it was announced by Genii on January 23, 2010, that Spyker was on the brink of coming to an agreement. This was also confirmed by Spyker CEO Victor Muller who said GM and Spyker were meeting in Stockholm to approve the deal.[51]

Muller closed the deal against expectations to buy Swedish automaker Saab from General Motors on January 26, 2010, in a deal worth US$400 million.[4][52] Following the deal the company Spyker Cars N.V. was later renamed to Swedish Automobile N.V.

The delays in the takeover were attributed to an investigation by the Swedish monetary agency Riksgälden and the Swedish security police Säpo, where the agencies found connections between the family of major shareholder Vladimir Antonov and organized crime, as well as involvement in money laundering. Säpo reported their findings to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and shortly thereafter GM dropped further talks about the deal, until a company controlled by Victor Muller called Tenaci purchased Antonov's share in the company. Antonov also announced that $US25 million has been given to Spyker as a loan to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors. He confirmed that the loan will be provided by Convers Bank, a bank owned by the Antonovs, and that GM was fully aware of that.[53] Antonov cannot invest in Spyker until 2016, when GM's preference share holding ends. Another way he could enter earlier would be permission by General Motors. Antonov stated, "I'm not involved in crime and I've initiated an investigation as to why GM thinks I am."[53]

On 26 January, General Motors (GM) confirmed that Spyker and GM had come to an agreement allowing Spyker to purchase Saab,[54] subject to regulatory and government approval; the sale was completed on February 23, 2010.[55] General Motors will continue to supply Saab with engines, transmissions and also completed vehicles in the shape of the new Saab 9-4x from GM's Mexican factory. The deal includes a loan from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed by the Swedish government. It comprises US$74m in cash up front, payable to GM by July 2010, and shares in Spyker to the tune of US$320m.

On February 23, 2010, Spyker Cars closed the deal to buy Saab Automobile from General Motors. Spyker and Saab operate under the parent company Swedish Automobile, named Spyker Cars N.V.[56]

On June 8, Saab Automobile said it had stopped production due to an insufficient supply of parts. This occurred only two weeks after resuming production following a seven-week hiatus. The supply of parts stopped because Saab did not pay its suppliers. Production was due to start again on August 9.[57]

The company changed its name to Swedish Automobile N.V. on June 15, 2011 after receiving approval at its annual shareholder meeting.[7]

On June 23, Saab announced that it was unable to pay June salaries to the entire workforce of 3,800 due to lack of funding.[58][59] The trade union IF Metall gave Saab seven days to pay the salaries to their employees; otherwise, IF Metall threatened to force a liquidation of the company.[60][61] On June 29, Saab employees were paid.[62]

On October 28, 2011, it was reported that the Chinese car maker Youngman Ltd., and the Chinese automotive retailer Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. had agreed a joint €100-million (US$140 million) takeover of Saab Automobile, and its UK dealer network unit from Swedish Automobile, with Youngman and Pang Da taking 60 and 40 percent stakes respectively.[63][64][65]

Saab's restructuring process was granted, and the plan was that in 2014 the company would have had a positive equity. The restructuring process would have removed 500 employees from Saab, saving about €100,000.00, according to the restructuring plan.[66] General Motors rejected the deal with Youngman and Pang Da on November 7, 2011, although unsuccessful discussion to convince GM continued for a month.

On December 19, 2011, chairman Victor Muller was forced to file Saab Automobile for bankruptcy following the failed buyout by a Chinese consortium, which was blocked by former parent GM to prevent technology transfer.[67][68]

On 16 April 2012, a meeting on Saab’s bankruptcy was held at the District Court of Vänersborg.[69] The official receivers in charge of the Saab liquidation valued the assets at us$500m and the debt at US$2,000m. After subtracting the value of the assets, Saab leaves a debt of US$1,500m.[70]

In August 2012, Spyker Cars announced that Youngman Ltd. acquired a 29.9% stake in its parent company Spyker N.V. for €10 million ($12.5 million).[71]

In August 2012, CEO Muller, Spyker cars, stated that Spyker Cars will sue General Motors over Saab bankruptcy.[72] Muller, stated, "Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile’s bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation for this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a result of GM’s unlawful actions".

In June 2013 the claim of Spyker Cars was heard in Detroit before a US federal judge. The judge dismissed the claim of 3 billion dollars by Spyker Cars. According to Judge Gershwin Drain "General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction," and "The court is going to grant the motion to dismiss the matter." and that Spyker had agreed in a deal with GM, when it bought Saab, to give GM the right to control a change of ownership .[73]

Spyker Cars NV appealed the ruling. The appeal was heard at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The court said on Friday October 24, 2014 that GM did not intentionally interfered with the Dutch company's effort to sell Saab to Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co, leading to Saab's bankruptcy. Judge Eugene Siler said GM's actions were not malicious, and that it had "legitimate business concerns" about the sale, including who would benefit from Saab's use of its technology. Siler said that Spyker's claim was "fatally flawed".[74]

Aftermath[edit]

On June 13, 2012, Saab was sold to National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which led Swedish Automobile, according to Spyker's website's copyright to change its name to Spyker N.V. Currently the SWAN website is inaccessible.

On November 5, 2014, the Dutch Court "Midden Nederland" ordered Spyker to leave, within seven days, the factory they rented and to pay 152.000 euro in overdue rent.[75] The claim was made by Jacques Walch, the owner of the factory rented by Spyker. Despite this, CEO Victor Muller insisted the company would be able to pay its bills "in a matter of days."[76]

On 2 December 2014 Spyker NV was granted a financial restructuring by the Dutch court "Midden Nederland". Spyker needs protection from creditors for its liquidity problems. Victor R. Muller, Spyker founder and chief executive, said “Over the past few years, Spyker has faced a number of serious difficulties and challenges resulting from, among others, the legacy of the F1 era and the acquisition of Saab Automobile AB,”.[77]

Joint ventures with Youngman[edit]

In August 2012, Youngman agreed to acquire 29.9% of the Spyker N.V. for €10 million ($12.5 million), and the companies agreed to form two new joint ventures.[78][79] The Spyker P2P B.V. will focus on the development of a new luxury sports utility vehicle, with ownership split 75:25 between Youngman and Spyker, respectively.[2][2][79] The Spyker Phoenix B.V. will focus on the development of a range of premium cars based on Saab's PhoeniX platform, with ownership split 80:20 between Youngman and Spyker, respectively.[79]

Motorsport[edit]

Spyker F1[edit]

Main article: Spyker F1

On September 9, 2006, Spyker bought Midland F1 Racing, a Formula One team from Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider. Spyker paid US$106.6 million for the team[80] which was renamed Spyker MF1 Team for the last three races of the 2006 Formula One season. As part of the deal, the cars had a revised livery for the final three races of 2006.

On August 14, 2007, Spyker Cars announced that it would have to sell all or part of the team due to a potential split of the team from its parent company.[81]

On September 3, 2007, Indian billionaire Dr Vijay Mallya (Chairman and CEO of Toyota sponsors Kingfisher Airlines) and Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol (Spyker’s Formula One Director), stated the Spyker board had accepted their offer and became the new owners of the Spyker Formula One team,[82] which was renamed as Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season.

Spyker Squadron[edit]

Spyker Squadron's Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R at the 2008 1000km of Silverstone.

The Spyker Squadron is the factory racing team, competing in events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Le Mans Series, occasional entries in the FIA GT Championship, and the 12 hours of Sebring. Spyker also supplies a car to Swiss Spyker distributor, Speedy Garages, running under the name Speedy Racing Team.

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External links[edit]