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Tata says ‘No bid’ for bankrupt Saab

Indian Tata Motors is denying reports that it has placed a $350 million (R2.6-billion) bid to buy bankrupt Swedish car maker Saab Automobile

Quoting unnamed sources which it said were aware of the matter, the Financial Express newspaper reported on Tuesday: “Tata's global acquisition team has been in negotiations with Saab and private equity players for a prospective acquisition by its Jaguar-Land Rover unit.”

The Saab factory in Trollhattan, Sweden. Credit: AP

However, Tata group chairman Ratan Tata strongly denied the report

“That is misinformation,” Tata said after the unveiling of the Indian company's new four-seater urban electric car, the Megapixel, at the Geneva motor show.

ALL SAAB’S ASSETS ARE FOR SALE

“We are making no move on Saab,” he insisted.

Saab officials said in February that at least four companies had placed preliminary bids for a buy-out - most of them from outside Sweden.

Saab, owned by Dutch company Swedish Automobile, filed for bankruptcy in December after numerous failed deals to keep it afloat.

The company has said all of Saab's assets would be for sale.

Tata, which also makes the world's cheapest car, the Nano, bought British luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008 for $2.3 billion (R17.2 billion) as part of its plans to expand beyond Asia.

Tata is, however, likely to face competition from China's Youngman, which has been keen to buy Saab and is reported to have made a preliminary bid of about $300 million (R2.2 billion).

Indian auto and farm equipment maker Mahindra and Mahindra is also reported to have placed a bid for Saab.

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