Dutch auto maker Spyker said Monday in a statement that it will sue General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) for $3 billion on behalf of its subsidiary Saab. Spyker accuses the U.S. automaker of deliberately driving Saab into bankruptcy. A complaint was filed in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.
Saab went bankrupt in December 2011, less than two years after GM sold it to Spyker. The bankruptcy came after several unsuccessful attempts to attract investment from China or elsewhere. Saab left behind debts of $2 billion backed by assets of only$500 million.
Said Spyker in the statement: “GM’s actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM’s … interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern.”
The company also said, “This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market.” GM had objected to deals with potential Chinese investors, worried they would have access to GM technology and compete against the U.S. auto maker in China, one of its most important foreign markets.
“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,” said Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s CEO and former CEO of Saab Automobile.
Spyker will bear the costs of litigation in exchange for a “substantial” share of any award Saab receives.