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$3 billion lawsuit filed against GM over Saab bankruptcy

Netherlands-based sports car manufacturer Spyker NV [corporate website] on Monday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against General Motors (GM) [corporate website] in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] seeking $3 billion in damages. Spkyer bought Saab Automobile AB (Saab) [corporate website] from GM in 2010 and now alleges that GM intentionally drove Saab into bankruptcy by tortiously interfering with a transaction with Chinese investors. According to the complaint GM knew that Saab would go into bankruptcy if it was not able to find investors to provide immediate liquidity. In 2011 Spyker, Saab and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. (Youngman) [corporate website] negotiated agreements to aid Saab in avoiding bankruptcy, but GM refused to consent to the deals because Saab was still using GM's technology in their cars. In response Spyker, Saab and Youngman drafted a Framework Agreement that did not require GM's consent. However, GM issued a statement allegedly giving a false impression to the public that the agreement needed GM's approval, leading Saab ultimately to go bankrupt. Spyker announced that it will pursue the lawsuit [Guardian report] against GM with "the same tenacity and perseverance" as they tried to save Saab from bankruptcy. In addition to the stated $3 billion in damages Spyker also seeks pre- and post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees.

GM became a government-backed company in July 2009 when the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] granted [JURIST report] the company's motion seeking the court's approval for sale of the automaker under US Bankruptcy Code Section 363 [11 USC § 363 text] to Vehicle Acquisition Holdings, a company set up by the US Department of the Treasury [official website] expressly to facilitate the sale. A few weeks earlier a federal bankruptcy judge approved [JURIST report] GM's motion to borrow $33.3 billion in debtor in possession financing from the US and Canadian governments to finance a new company. GM had filed [JURIST report] for Chapter 11 [text] bankruptcy in June of that year.

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