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Business

Spyker sues GM over Saab bankruptcy

Dutch automaker Spyker has said it's suing General Motors for what it called the US giant's deliberate efforts to drive Spyker's subsidiary Saab into bankruptcy. It wants billions of dollars in compensation.

Carmaker Spyker of the Netherlands said on Monday it was taking General Motors (GM) to court on behalf of its subsidiary Saab, accusing the US company of deliberately driving Saab into bankruptcy. Saab filed for insolvency in December 2011, less than two years after GM sold it to the Dutch firm.

Spyker claimed General Motors had illegally interfered with a planned deal with a Chinese investor so as to avoid unwanted competition by Saab on the strategically important automobile market.

"This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition," Spyker said in a statement, referring to a complaint filed in a US district court.

GM taken by surprise

The Dutch carmaker wants $3 billion (2.4 billion euros) in compensation from General Motors. "GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab into bankruptcy, a result of GM's interfering with a planned transaction between Saab, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab to remain a solvent, growing company," Spyker maintained.

Saab was declared insolvent with debts of about $1.8 billion, a proportion of which is owed to the Swedish Debt Office.

GM spokesman James Cain told the Reuters news agency that Spyker's move was unexpected. "It's hard to believe, we have no comment until we see the lawsuit," Cain said.

hg/ng (Reuters, AFP)