Hong Kong-based NEVS closes deal to acquire bankrupt Saab Automobile

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), which is owned by Hong Kong-based National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd, said today it had completed the acquisition of bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile AB.

The deal includes intellectual property (IP) rights for the Saab 9-3, IP rights for the Phoenix platform, tools, the manufacturing plant and test and laboratory facilities, as well as all outstanding shares in the property company which owned the Saab facilities in Trollhattan, Sweden.

The transaction is in line with the company’s goal to become a leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, NEVS said without giving financial details. Its chairman, Karl-Erling Trogen, added that the company plans to launch its first electric vehicle based on Saab 9-3 technologies and a new technology electric power train in around 18 months.

The transaction comes after the buyer settled a dispute with truck maker Scania (STO:SCV B) and defence and aerospace group Saab AB (STO:SAAB B) on the use of the Saab brand name for its future vehicles. Thus, the company that will produce the vehicles will be named National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB or NEVS. It will use the Saab brand for its vehicles but without the current griffin symbol.

Kai Johan Jiang, founder and principal owner of National Modern Energy Holdings, which focuses on alternative energy, commented that through the purchase of Saab Automobile, the company would add capabilities for the development and manufacturing of electric cars, for which there is an increasing demand in China.

Sweden’s EQT confirms €220m deal for Austrian UC4

Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners AB announced today that its EQT VI fund had signed a deal to buy Austrian IT process automation software vendor UC4 Software GmbH from a unit of The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG).

EQT will acquire the company from Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, UC4’s founder Franz Beranek and its management team for an enterprise value of EUR220m (USD270.4m). The sealing of the deal was reported earlier by the Financial Times, which quoted insiders.

The transaction is pending clearance from certain authorities and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of the year. As part of the deal, UC4’s management will reinvest in the business alongside EQT IV.

According to Per Franzen, EQT partner in Germany, the business being acquired will have a new supervisory board comprising a mix of EQT industrial advisors who will back UC4’s management in further expanding into the cloud automation market.

Wolfsgraben-based UC4 offers IT process automation through its One Automation platform, which assists organisations in managing IT landscapes. The company has a client base that includes around 2,050 blue chip customers and generated revenues of EUR62m in the fiscal year to April 2012. It has additional headquarters in Bellevue, the US.

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Finnish Nokia agrees sale of Vertu unit to sponsor EQT Partners

Finnish mobile phone group Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) said on Thursday it was selling its luxury handsets making subsidiary Vertu Corp to EQT VI fund, part of Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners AB, for an undisclosed price.

According to earlier media reports, the sale was expected to generate EUR200m, but Financial News has not been able to verify the actual price tag.

The struggling handset maker also announced that it will cut 10,000 jobs as it warned that losses of its mobile phone business will be wider than expected in the second quarter.

Nokia will keep 10% in Vertu, it said, adding that the sale to EQT VI was the next logical step in the unit’s development, helping it to focus on increased opportunities for growth in the luxury category.

EQT VI has also announced the agreement, saying it would further develop Vertu as a standalone firm through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development.

Vertu’s strong brand, its leading position in its category and significant growth potential makes it a perfect fit for EQT VI’s investment strategy, Jan Stahlberg, partner at EQT Partners, said.

Vertu’s president, Perry Oosting, expressed in his comment confidence that EQT VI will position the company to continue its growth and lead the sector.

Based in Church Crookham, UK, Vertu employs around 1,000 globally. The company offers tailored, luxury services and finest design, engineering and manufacturing services. Its products sell through more than 500 stores, including over 70 own-brand boutiques, in 66 countries around the world.

Subject to regulatory clearance and other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to complete during the second half of this year, the parties said.

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Sweden’s Volvo increases stake in German diesel engine maker Deutz to 25%

Swedish industrial group AB Volvo (STO:VOLVA; VOLVB) said Wednesday it had agreed to raise its stake in German diesel engine producer Deutz AG (ETR:DEZ) to over 25% from 6.7% through the acquisition of 22m shares for EUR5.88 (USD7.36) apiece.

The agreed price represents a premium of 12% over Deutz’ average price in the last three months. The transaction, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approval, will make the Swedish company Deutz biggest shareholder. It is due to close in the third quarter of the year without any impact on Volvo’s financial results.

This move will help Volvo to widen its cooperation with Deutz in the medium-duty engines, Volvo’s chief executive Olof Persson said. Earlier in 2012, the two companies inked a memorandum of understanding to study a potential expansion of their long-term partnership and develop the next generation of medium-duty engines for off-road applications. The MoU also envisages the possible set-up of a Chinese joint venture to manufacture medium-duty engines.

Volvo currently holds 8.097m shares in Deutz.

Koeln-based Deutz is active in the design and production of diesel engines for both on-road and off-road applications. It runs production sites, 10 distribution companies, nine sales offices and has more than 800 partners in over 130 countries worldwide.

Volvo supplies commercial transport solutions, including trucks, buses, construction equipment, engines and drive systems for boats and industrial applications, industrial engines and systems, industrial IT solutions, logistics solutions, aircraft engine components, as well as services and support. It has production facilities in 20 countries and sales facilities in over 190 markets.