(AFP) – Aug 15, 2009
STOCKHOLM — Volvo engineers have launched a bid to buy the loss-making Swedish automaker from US giant Ford to stop it from falling into Chinese hands, a newspaper report said on Saturday.
Business daily Dagens Industri said a group of engineers was behind a consortium registered last month under the name of Jakob AB, adding that it was backed by Volvo Group chief Leif Johanssen.
Dagens Industri said that a predecessor of Johanssen, Roger Holtback, who headed Volvo Cars from 1984-1991, could return if Jakob AB's bid worth 15 billion kronor (2.08 billion dollars, 1.45 billion euros) succeeds.
The report, which gave no sources, said that Volvo Cars employees in Sweden and Belgium had been offered the chance to join the consortium with a stake equivalent to two months' pay.
Dagens Industri said that the engineers feared that Volvo would lose its technological edge if it came under Chinese management.
On August 6 the daily reported that Ford was in talks to sell a majority stake in Volvo Cars to China's Geely Automobile.
The paper said the deal would value Volvo Cars at between "20 (billion) and 25 billion Swedish kronor."
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