Reports out of Sweden this morning suggest Saab may have as many as three independent groups interested in purchasing the brand.

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After Koenigsegg’s negotiations to acquire Saab ended last week, Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation, which was set to become a minority investor in Koenigsegg, is said to have been the first candidate to contact GM about purchasing the Swedish manufacturer.

Credible reports also indicate that two American investment groups, billionaire investor Ira Rennert’s Renco and Wyoming-based Merbanco, are also actively pursuing the brand.

Merbanco president Christopher Johnston told Bloomberg yesterday that Merbanco would be willing to acquire a majority stake in Saab.

“I do not believe that the company should be closed,” Mr Johnston said. “Whoever buys Saab, or if GM keeps Saab, there’s a lot of work ahead but I believe that the company should survive.”

Although no formal written offers have yet been submitted, a Saab spokesperson confirmed that the company has been speaking to outside parties.

“We have a close dialogue and close contact with several who have expressed interest in buying Saab Automobile,” said Saab spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs.

Swedish enterprise minister Maud Oloffson said the government is not participating in the search for a buyer for Saab.

“It is Saab owner General Motors that should find a new buyer, not the government,” said Maud Olofsson. “Now it is in the hands of GM and it is they who should find a new buyer. It feels positive that GM has not given up hope of finding a new buyer.”