I missed this story when I was on holiday but thanks to Victor himself dropping in on our comments section yesterday, I had reason to go searching for the story.
Bottom line: On October 1st, Spyker appealed the judge’s dismissal of their case.
Source: Law 360. Click that link to read the story in full.
Dutch carmaker Spyker NV urged the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday to revive its $3 billion lawsuit alleging General Motors Co. pushed Saab Automobile AB into bankruptcy by interfering with Spyker’s bid to sell the Swedish automaker to Chinese investors, claiming a district court judge erred in tossing the suit.
Spyker and Saab’s suit alleged that GM public announcements scuttled the deal on the eve of its signing, but a district court tossed the lone claim of tortious interference with economic expectancy, ruling that they had no anticipated business relationship because the unsigned framework agreement merely outlined a further set of agreements that still needed to be arranged and approved in short order.
In a brief filed with the Sixth Circuit, Spyker and Saab claimed the lower court committed “three critical errors” in dismissing their suit, the first being the conclusion that the failed deal left the automakers without a valid expectation of a business deal.
“Far from wishful thinking, Saab stood to gain an immediate cash investment of €10 million on signing the framework agreement,” according to the brief.
Spyker and Saab claimed the lower court erred further by incorrectly interpreting GM’s rights under existing contracts and then using that misreading to find that GM had not acted maliciously in speaking out against the deal.
“Consequently, this court should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case for further proceedings,” the brief said.
Spyker filed the suit in August 2012, claiming that Saab was forced into liquidation in Swedish court in December 2011 after GM doomed a proposed $142 million sale of Saab to Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. by making public statements in December 2011 that it would cut off crucial technology licensing deals if Spyker went ahead with a the proposed deal.
The Dutch company contended that GM’s alleged tortuous interference cost it at least $3 billion.
GM moved to dismiss the suit, asserting that its own deal with Spyker put limits on the future use of GM technology in Saab cars and gave the U.S. automaker consent rights regarding any future sale of the Swedish company.
Again, you can read the full story at Law 360.
I have to say I don’t feel optimistic about Spyker’s chances with this case. That’s not because I don’t believe in it, because I do. I’d love to see GM held accountable for its lack of stewardship of Saab and the disadvantaged position they placed the company in. I simply think it’s going to be hard to convince a judge in GM’s own backyard that they should be held accountable. I’d love to believe that Lady Justice is blind, but I don’t.
I do wish Spyker and Saab well with this suit, though. GM could have taken measures to protect their interests and still allowed Saab a future until such a time as Saab’s cars became GM-free. They killed it because they could.