The phrase ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ springs to mind. That follows news that troubled Swedish car brand Saab has found another Chinese investor to save it. Last week we reported that a deal with Hawtai, a Shandong-based carmaker, had fallen through. Saab’s Dutch owner, Spyker, then turned to Pang Da, a Chinese car distributor. In the new deal, Pang Da will buy a 24% equity stake in Spyker for €65 million and also advance €45 million to allow the car firm to resume production (due to a lack of cash, its factories have been idle for six weeks). Pang Da recently raised almost $1 billion in a Shanghai IPO, but Saab lovers shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet – the deal still requires regulatory approval, and may still be scotched by Beijing. But as auto consultant Mike Dunne told the Financial Times: “China is moving beyond its role as the factory of the world to become the banker and investor for the world – at least in the auto industry.”
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